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GREAT BRITAIN, with 14 Maps and 24 

LONDON and its ENVIRONS, with 

Sixth Edition. 1887. .. 

BELGIUM and HOLLAND, with li 

Ninth Editi< 


Seven Modi; 
Forest, etc. 


Ninth Editit 


Sixth Editio 


12 Plans, an 



Plans. 1S87. 

10 marks. 

3 Maps and 15 Plans. 
6 marks. 

! Maps and 20 Plana. 

6 marks. 


, Vosges Mts., Black 
Edition. 1886. ti marks. 

ps and 42 Plans. 

7 marks. 

aps and 30 Plans. 

7 marks. 

Bavarian High- 

:tc. With 34 Maps, 
£8. 8 marks. 


RAVENNA, and Routes to Italy 

through Fi l, with 16 Maps and 

29 Plans. S II ' 6 marks. 

CENTRAL ITALY and ROME , with 8 Maps, 31 Plans, a 

Panorama of Rome , and a View of the Forum Romanum. Ninth 
Edition. 1886. 6 marks. 

SOUTHERN ITALY, SICILY, and Excursions to the 
Lipari Islands, Tunis (Carthage), Sardinia, Malta, and 

CORFU, with 26 Maps and 17 Plans. Ninth Edition. 1887. 6 marks. 

NORWAY and SWEDEN, with 21 Maps and 11 Plans. Third 

Edition. 1885. 9 marks. 

PARIS and its ENVIRONS, with Routes from London 

to Paris, and from Paris to the Rhine and Switzerland. With 
9 Maps and 30 Plans. Ninth Edition. 1888. 6 marks. 

SWITZERLAND, and the adjacent Parts of Italy, 

SAVOY, and the TYROL, with 36 Maps, 10 Plans, and 11 Panoramas. 
Twelfth Edition. 1887. 7 marks. 

LOWER EGYPT, with the Fayum and the Peninsula of 

SlNAI, with 16 Maps, 30 Plans, 7 Views, and 76 Vignettes. Second 
Edition. 1885. 16 marks. 

PALESTINE and SYRIA, with 18 Maps, 43 Plans, 1 Pano- 
rama of Jerusalem, and 10 Views. 1876. 20 marks. 


English, German, French, and Italian. 

3 marks. 

November 1888. 





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AH rights reserved. 

'Go, little book, God send thee good passage, 
And specially let this be thy prayere 
Unto them all that thee will read or hear, 
Where thou art wrong, after their help to call, 
Thee to correct in any part or all. 



The present volume is the second of a series of Hand- 
books for the East now in course of preparation, and de- 
signed, like the Editor's European handbooks, for the guid- 
ance of travellers. 

The materials from which the first edition of the Hand- 
book for Lower Egypt was compiled were partly furnished 
by Professor G. Ebers of Leipsic, while articles on special 
subjects, as well as many additions and emendations , were 
contributed by a number of other writers. The Editor is 
specially indebted to Professor Ascherson and Dr. Klunzinger 
of Berlin, Dr. G. Schweinfurth and Franz Bey of Cairo, Pro- 
fessor Springer of Leipsic, and Professor Socin of Tubingen. 
To several English gentlemen who contributed a number of 
valuable corrections and suggestions, and particularly to the 
distinguished Egyptologist , Dr. Samuel Birch , the Editor 
also begs to tender his grateful acknowledgements. The 
corrections and additions for the second edition have been 
mainly furnished by Dr. Schweinfurth, Dr. Spitta Bey (late 
librarian to the Khedive) , and Emil Brugsch Bey, all of 

The Editor has also repeatedly visited Lower Egypt for 
the purpose of obtaining the most recent practical infor- 
mation , of the kind most likely to be useful to travellers. 
As, however, a tour in the East is attended with far greater 
difficulty than in Europe, and sources of information are far 
less abundant, the Handbook must necessarily contain many 
imperfections, and the Editor will therefore gratefully avail 
himself of any communications which his readers may kindly 
contribute, as many of them have so generously done in the 
case of his European handbooks. As Oriental life and scenery 
differ widely in many respects from European, and can hard- 
ly be appreciated without some previous study , the Editor 
has endeavoured to supply the traveller with all the most 
necessary preliminary information, believing that it will be 
acceptable to most of his readers, although somewhat beyond 
the province of an ordinary guide-book. 

The Maps and Plans have been an object of the Editor's 
special care , as he knows by experience how little reliance 
can be placed on information obtained from the natives, even 
when the traveller is conversant with their language. The 
maps of the Handbook are based upon the large maps of 


Mahmud Bey, Linant, Lepsius, and Kiepert, together with 
the English and French Admiralty charts, and the map of the 
French expedition, so far as still serviceable ; while numerous 
corrections and additions have been specially made on the 
spot. The plans of the mosques and the sketch of the Tombs 
of the Khalifs have been contributed by Franz Bey, the 
architect. It is therefore hoped that the maps and plans will, 
on the whole, be found the most serviceable that have yet 
been published for the use of travellers in Egypt. 

Heights above the sea-level and other measurements are 
given in English feet , from the latest and most trustworthy 
English and other sources. 

The Prices and various items of expenditure mentioned 
in the Handbook are given in accordance with the Editor's 
personal experience, but they are liable to very great fluctu- 
ation , in accordance with the state of trade , the influx of 
foreigners, the traveller's own demeanour, and other circum- 
stances. In some cases the traveller's expenditure may be 
within the rate indicated in the Handbook, but as many un- 
expected contingencies may arise on so long a journey, an 
ample pecuniary margin should always be allowed. 

Hotels, etc., see p. 17. 

Transliteration. The vowel sounds of Arabic words 
mentioned in the Handbook are represented by a, e, i, o, and u, 
as pronounced in Italian (ah, eh, ee, o, and oo). The e used 
in the Handbook is a contracted form of ei , and is used in 
preference to it, as it exactly represents the usual pronuncia- 
tion [viz. that of the a in fate). The diphthong sound of ei is 
rarely used except in the recitation of the Koran. Arabic 
words written in accordance with this system will generally 
be found to correspond with the forms used by German, 
French, and Italian philologists. 



Introduction 1 

I. Preliminary Information 2 

(1). Plan and Period of Tour. Travelling Companions. 

Routes 2 

(2). Expenses. Money 3 

(3). Passports. Custom House 6 

(4). Consulates. International Tribunals 6 

(5). Steamboats on the Mediterranean 7 

(6). Modes of Travelling in Egypt 11 

(7). Dealing with the Natives. Dragomans 12 

(8). Equipment for the Tour. Health 14 

(9). Beggars. Bakshish 16 

(10). Public Safety. Weapons. Dogs 16 

(11). Hotels. Hospitality 17 

(12). Cafes. Story-Tellers, Musicians, Singers, etc. . . 17 

(13). Baths 21 

(14). Bazaars 23 

(15). Intercourse with Orientals 25 

(16). Tobacco 27 

(17). Post and Telegraph Offices 28 

(18). Weights and Measures 28 

II. Geographical and Political Notice (by Dr. 6. Schwein- 

furth of Cairo) 29 

Boundaries and Area of the Egyptian Empire 29 

Divisions and Administration 31 

Distribution of Land 35 

Population 36 

Origin and Descent of the Egyptians 37 

The Modern Egyptians 38 

(1). The Fellahin 39 

(2). Copts . .' 42 

(3). Beduins . . . ■ 45 

(4). Arabian Dwellers in Towns 48 

(5). Berbers 49 

(6). Negroes 51 

(7). Turks 52 

(8). Levantines 52 

(9). Armenians and Jews 53 

(10). Europeans 53 

The Nile 55 

Extent of the River 55 

Its Sources 56 

Alluvial Soil. Nile Mud 57 



Inundation 57 

Civilising Effects of the Kiver . . . 59 

Embouchures of the Nile . . . 59 

Geology of Egypt and Notice of the Desert (by Professor 

K. Zittel) 60 

The Oases (by Prof. P. Ascherson) 63 

Climate 67 

Atmosphere . 67 

Rain 67 

Winds 68 

Temperature 69 

Thermometers 70 

Agriculture and Vegetation 70 

Capabilities of the Soil .... 70 

Irrigation . . 71 

Agricultural Periods (Winter,Summer, and Autumn Seasons). 

Agricultural Implements 72 

Farm Produce of Egypt .... 74 

Trees and Plantations 75 

Trees in Ancient Times 77 

Fruit-Trees . . 77 

Decorative Plants 77 

The Animal Kingdom in Egypt (by Dr. M. Th. v. Heug- 

liri) 78 

Domestic Animals 78 

Wild Animals 79 

Birds of Passage 80 

Other Mammals and Birds 81 

Reptiles 83 

Fish of the Nile (by Dr. C. B. Klunzinger) 83 

III. Outline of the History ef Egypt 85 

Chronological Table 86 

Primaeval Monarchy . 86 

Middle Monarchy 87 

Period of the Hyksos 88 

New Empire 90 

Persian Period ...... 93 

The Ptolemies 96 

The Romans 98 

The Byzantines ' 100 

Mohammedan Period 101 

Khalifs 101 

Mamelukes 104 

Osmans 105 

The French 105 

Mohammed 'All and his Successors 106 

IV. Hieroglyphics 110 

V. Frequently Recurring Names of Egyptian Kings . . . 118 

VI. Religion of the Ancient Egyptians 124 

VII. Doctrines of El-Islam (by Prof. Socin) 140 

Remarks on Mohammedan Customs 153 

VIII. History of Egyptian Art 157 

IX. Buildings of the Mohammedans (by Franz Bey of Cairo) 174 

Mosques 183 

Tombs 185 

Dwelling-Houses 185 



X. The Arabic Language 188 

Arabic Vocabulary 192 

XI. "Works on Egypt 200 


1. Alexandria 203 

Arrival 203 

Hotels. Cafe's. Baths. Carriages. Consulates, etc. . . 203-206 

Disposition of Time 206 

History 207 

Topography of Ancient Alexandria 208 

Mahmudiyeh Canal 215 

Public Institutions. Waterworks. Harbours 216 

Place and Monument of Mohammed 'Ali. Pompey's Column 218 

Catacombs. Ras et-Tin .' 219 

Ginenet en-Nuzha. Palaces of Nimreh Telateh and Mo- 

harrem Bey 220 

Meks and the New Docks 221 

Excursion to Ramleh. Cleopatra's Needle. Nicopolis . . 222 

2. From Alexandria to Cairo 223 

Lake Mareotis 223 

From Tell el-Barud to Biilak ed-Dakrur 224 

Winter Aspect of the Delta' 225 

The Fair of Tanta 226 

From Tanta to S'hibin el-Kom 226 

From Benha to Kom el-Atrib (Athribis) 227 

3. Cairo 231 

Arrival. Railway Stations. Hotels. Pensions. Private Apart- 
ments. Restaurants. Cafe's 231 

Money-Changers. Bankers. Consulates. Carriages . . . 232 
Omnibuses. Donkeys. Commissionnaires. Dragomans. 

Post Office. Telegraph Offices. Theatres. Physicians. 233 
Chemists. Churches. Schools. Hospitals. Teachers of 

Languages. Clubs. Baths. Booksellers. Photographs 234 

European Wares. Goods Agents. Barbers. Wine. Tobacco 235 

Arabian Bazaars. Woodwork, etc 236 

Religious Festivals of the Mohammedans .... . . 236 

Dervishes 239 

Sights and Disposition of Time 239 

History of the City 241 

Remarks on the Situation of the City. Population . . . 243 

Public Institutions 244 

Street Scenes 244 

General Characteristics. Conspicuous Features. Turbans. 
Women. Street-Cries. Beggars. Water-Carriers (Sakkas, 
Hemali). Public Kitchens. Sweetmeats, Fruit, etc. 

Schools. Artizans 244-251 

Bazaars 251 

Muski. Suk el-Hamzawi. Suk el-'Attarin. Suk el-Fahhami 253 
Sukkariyeh. Shoemakers' Bazaar. Suk es-Sellaha. Bazaar 
of the Saddlers. Ghuriyeh Street. Suk es- Sudan. 

Bazaar of the Booksellers and Bookbinders 254 

Khan el-Khalili 255 

Suk es-Saigh. Suk el-G6hargiyeh. Suk en-Nahhasin. . 256 

Bet el-Kadi. Gameliyeh. Smaller Bazaars ... . 257 

Ezbekiyeh Place and New Town of Isma'iliya 258 

Southern Quarters of the Inner City 260 


Route Page 
Boulevard Mohammed 'AH. Gami' Rifa'iyeh. Gami' Sul- 
tan Hasan 260 

Rumeleh and Karamedan (Place Mehemet Ali). Gami' Mah- 

mudi and Gami' 'Abderrahman. Citadel 262 

Gami' Mohammed 'Ali 263 

Gami' Salaheddin Yfisuf. Joseph's Well. Gami' Suleman 

Pasha.' 264 

TekSyet el-Maulawiyeh. Sebil of the Mother of 'Abbas 

Pasha. Gami' Ibn Tulun 265 

Gami' Kait Bey. Gami'' es-Seiyideh Zenab 268 

Viceroyal Library at Derb el-Gamamiz 269 

Monastery of Dervishes in the Habbaniyeh 271 

Gami' el-Benat. Shekh ul-Islam. Bab ez- Zuweleh (Muta- 
welli). Gami' el-Muaiyad. Derb el-Ahmar. Gami' el- 

Werdanl '. 272 

Sebil of Mohammed 'Ali. Gami' el-Ghuri 274 

North-Eastern Quarters of the City 275 

Miiristan Kalaun 275 

Tomb of Sultan Mohammed en-Nasir ibn Kalaun .... 277 

Barkukiyeh Mosque' .'...' 278 

Sebil of 'Abder-Rahman Kikhya. Okella Sulfikar Pasha. 

Medreseh Gameiiyeh. Gami' el-Hakim 279 

Bab en-Nasr and Bab el-Futiih . . ' 280 

Burckhardt's Tomb. New Waterworks 281 

Tombs of the Khalifs 282 

Tomb-Mosques of Sultan Kansuweh el-Ghuri, Sultan el- 
Ashraf, and Emir Yusuf. Tomb-Mosque of Sultan 

Barkuk 282 

Sultan Farag. Sultan Suleman. Seb'a Benat .... 284 

Bur'sbey. Ma'bed er-Rifa'i. , 285 

Okella and Tomb-Mosque of Kait Bey 286 

Gami' el-Azhar (University) . 287 

Gami' el-Hasanen 292 

Biilak and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities 293 

4. Environs of Cairo 317 

Old Cairo (Masr el-Atika) 317 

Fumm el-Khalig. Old Waterworks of the Citadel. Christian 

Cemeteries. Island of Roda 318 

The Nilometer (Mikyas) . .' 319 

Castle of Babylon. Abu Sergeh (Coptic Church of St. Mary) 320 
Seiyideh Maryam (Greek Church of St. Mary). Mari Mena. 

Abu Sefen. Synagogue. Church of St. Barbara . . . 324 

Gami' 'Amr 324 

Tombs of the Mamelukes 327 

Imam Shafe'i. Hosh el-Basha. Hosh el-Memalik .... 328 

Chateau and Park of Gezireh 328 

Shubra Avenue 330 

Villa Ciecolani. Kasr en-Nuzha. Garden of Shubra. . . 331 

Heliopolis . . . '. * ; 331 

Gami' ej-Zahir. 'Abbasiyeh. Palace of Kubbeh. Race-Course 332 

Matariyeh and the Tree of the Virgin ' 333 

El-Merg. Khankah. Birket el-Hagg 335 

The Mokattam Hills ' 335 

Gebel and Mosque of Giyushi 335 

Gebel el-Ahmar 337 

Moses' Spring and the Petrified Forest 337 

Gebel Khashab (Small Petrified Wood) 338 

Great Petrified Wood near Bir el-Fahmeh 340 

Pyramids of Gizeh 340 


Route _ 

From Cairo to Gizeh of!} 

Situation of the Pyramids .' ojn 

Disposition of Time 343 

History of the Building of the Pyramids' according to Hero- 
dotus, Diodorus, Strabo, Pliny, and others . . 344 
Structure of the Pyramids according to Prof. Lepsius and 

others a^r. 

Opening of the Pyramids and Attempts to' destroy' them ' 352 

Great Pyramid (ascent and interior) . oka 

Second Pyramid ... 5S« 

Third Pyramid ij25 

The Sphinx ." .' ] XJ5 

Granite Temple near the Sphinx qcf 

Tomb of Numbers . . .....'. 366 

Campbell's Tomb. Walk round the Plateau 'of the Pyramids 367 

Pyramids of Abu Roash 379 

From Gizeh to Sakkara via Abusir. Pyramids of Abusir 370 

Site of Ancient Memphis and Tombs of Sakkara. . 371 

From Cairo to Memphis via Bedrashen . 371 

History of Memphis 370 

Colossal Statue of Ramses II. '. 374 

From Mitrahineh to Sakkara. .....-..'' 376 

Tombs of Sakkara. Structure and Ornamentation of the 

Mastabas 07c 

Step-Pyramid of Sakkara ......'. 332 

Pyramid of King Unas. The Serapeum . '. 383 

Tombs of the Apis-bulls (Egyptian Serapeum) ' ' 385 

Mastaba of Ti ogg 

Mastabas of Ptahhotep and Sabii . . . . 401 

Mastaba Far'iin ' iqq 

Pyramids of Dahshur 402 

Quarries of Tura and Baths of Helwan ...... . 403 

The Barrage du Nil .... .' '.'.'. 406 

5. From Cairo to Suez 4qq 

Tell el-Yehudiyeh .'.'.'. 408 

The Freshwater Canal from Cairo to Suez. 409 

The Ancient Bubastis 4jn 

The Biblical Land Goshen. 411 

Tell el-Maskhuta (Ramses) 414 

6. Suez, f Ain Musa, and the Red Sea .... . . . ' .' 415 

Natural Products of the Red Sea • • • ^ 

Submarine Coral Reefs '.'.'.' 416 

The Red Sea and its Coasts '. 431 

7. From Suez to Port Sa'id. The Suez Canal . . . . .' .' 421 

Topography and History of the Isthmus. Ancient Canals 

through the Isthmus 425 

The present Suez Canal. History and Statistics! ' 429 

Monuments of Darius " 432 

Ruins of Pelusium. Lake Menzaleh ■ . . ' t . . . . 435 

8. Towns of the Central and Northern Delta . . . . . . . 438 

a. From Cairo to Mansura 438 

From Mansura to Behbit el-Hager 440 

Ruins of Mendes . . . '' 442 

b. From Mansura to Damietta [ 442 

Environs of Damietta. Mouth of the Nile. . . '.'.'. 444 

From Damietta to Rosetta via Lake Burlus . . 445 

c From Damietta to Tanta ..... 445 


Route Page 

From Mahallet Rfih to Zifteh 445 

From Mahallet Ruti to Desuk .... . ... 445 

d. Sals. ..'....'...' 445 

e. Rosetta 447 

From Alexandria to Rosetta. Canopus 447 

From Damanhur to Rosetta ... . . ... 448 

The Rosetta Stone ... 450 

f. San (Tanis) 451 

' From Abu Shekuk or Abu Kebir to Tanis 451 

From Port Sa'i'd to Tanis. The Ancient Tennis .... 452 

From Tanis to Damietta, Mansura, or Sinbelawin. . . . 452 

9. The Fayum ' 456 

Situation and History of the Fayiim 456 

Excursions from Medinet el-Fayiim 459 

Hawara el-Kebir, the Pyramid of Hawara, and the Labyrinth 459 

Lake Mceris. Circuit of the old bed of the Lake .... 462 

Birket el-Kurun and Kasr Karun 465 

Pyramid and Mastaba'of Medum 467 

Atfih (Aphroditopblis). Ahnas el-Medineh (Herakleopolis) 469 

Beni-Suef. Monasteries ofSS. Anthony and Paul .... 470 

10. The Peninsula of Sinai 470 

Preparations. Contract with Dragoman. Camels, etc. . . 470 

Routes. Sea-Voyage to Tur 473 

Formation of the Peninsula. Group of Mt. Sinai .... 477 

Inhabitants 478 

History 479 

Exodus of the Israelites 481 

From Suez to Mt. Sinai by Maghara and Wadi Firan. . 485 
Stations of the Israelites in the Desert, and Number of the 

Emigrants 486 

The Jebel Hammam Far'un 488 

Mines of Maghara 491 

The Wadi Maghara a station of the Israelites 493 

Sinaitic Inscriptions 493 

The Oasis of Firan 495 

Rephidim, and the Biblical Narrative 496 

Mt. Serbal 497 

Monastery of St. Catharine on Mt. Sinai 503 

Church of the Transfiguration. Chapel of the Burning Bush. 

Mosque. Library. Cemetery. Garden 506-509 

The Jebel Musa and Ras es-Safsaf 510 

The Jebel Fre'a. ...'.'.'. 513 

The Wadi el-Leja. Der el-Arba'in 514 

The Jebel Katherin 514 

The Wadi Seba'iyeh 515 

The Jebel Umm Shomar 515 

Route to Mt. Sinai via, Tur 515 

1. Through the Wadi e's-Sleh 517 

2. Through the Wadi Hebran 518 

From the Monastery of Mt. Sinai to 'Akaba 519 

From 'Akaba to Petra 520 

Return-Route from the Monastery of Mt. Sinai to Suez 

through the Wadi esh-Shekh and via Sarbut el-Khadem 520 

Index 525 

MAPS, PLANS, etc. xiii 


1. Map of the Delta (Routes 2, 5, 7, 8), before the Title Page. 

*■ general Map of Egypt, shewing the Character of the Soil, between 

o. map op the Environs op Alexandria (R. 1),. between pp. 222, 223. 

-n.°l l* E Envie «ns of Cairo (as far as the Barrage on the N. and 
Dahshur on the S.; R. 4), between pp. 316, 317. 

0. McuiMjp op the Eastern Environs of Cairo (R. 4), between 

pp. ooV, ool. 

6. Special Map of the Southern Environs of Cairo (R. 4), between 

Pp. 04HJ, o41. 

7. Map of the Pyramids of GIzeh (R. 4), between pp. 354, 365. 

8. Map of the Ruins of Memphis (R. 4), between pp. 372, 373. 

». Ihe pyramids and Tombs of Sakkara and Abus!r (R. 4), between 

pp. O lo, O iv, 

10. Map^ofjhe Gulf of Suez, with Moses' Springs (R. 6), between pp. 

11. Map op the Suez Canal (R. 7), between pp. 434, 435. 

12. Map of the Nile from Cairo to Feshn, beyond the Fayum (including 

the Pyramids ; R. 9), between pp. 456, 457. 
Id. Map of the Peninsula of Sinai (R. 10), between pp. 470, 471. 
14. Map of^the Environs of Mt. Sinai and Mt. Serbal (R. 10), between 

15 ' Maf ° f t ?1 e Environs of the Monastery of Mt. Sinai and of Jebel 

Musa (R. 10), between pp. 502, 503. 
16. Map showing Routes to the Levant, after the Index. 


1. Arabian Bath, p. 22. 

2. Arabian Dwelling House : Ground Floor, p. 186 
?■ " " " First Floor, p. 187. 

4. Plan of Alexandria, p. 202. 

5. Plan of Ancient Alexandria, p. 208. 

6. Large Plan op Cairo, p. 228. 

7. Gami' Sultan Hasan, p. 261. 

8. Mohammed c AH, p. 263. 

9. - Ibn'Tultjn, p. 266. 

10. Muristan Kalaun, p. 276. 

11. Bab en-Nasr and Bab el- Futuh, p. 281. 

12. Tombs of the Khal!fs, p. 282. 

13. Tomb Mosque of Sultan Barkuk, p. 283. 

14. - of Kai't Bey, p'. 286. 

15. Gami' el-Azhar, p.' 290. 

16. Plan of Bulak, p. 294. 

17. Museum of Egyptian Antiquities at Bulak, p. 295. 

18. Church of Abu Sergeh, at Old Cairo, p. 821. 

19. Gami' "Amr, at Old Cairo, p. 325. 

20. Hosh el-Basha, p. 328. 

21. Park and Palace of Gezireh, p. 329. 

22. The Great Pyramid of Gizeh, p. 355. 

23. The Third Pyramid of GIzeh, p. 361. 

24. Granite Temple, adjoining the Great Sphinx, p. 366. 

25. Tombs of the Apis Bulls at Sakkara, p. 388. 

26. The Mastaba of Ti, p. 390. 

27. Suez and' Port IbrahIm, p. 415. 

28. IsMA'fLfyA, p. 434. 

29. Port SA f Sto, p. 435. 

30. Mines of Maghara, p. 492. 


1. General View of the Tombs of the Khalifs, p. 284. 

2. View of the Tombs of the Mamelukes and the Citadel p. 327. 


3. View of several op the Tombs of the KhalSfs, p. 327. 

4. View of the Granite Temple, the Sphinx, and the Great Pyramid 

of G!zeh, p. 356. 

5. View of the Sphinx, p. 356. 

6. View of the Step-Pyramid of Sakkara, p. 382. 

7. View of the Interior of the Apis Tombs at Sakkara, p. 382. 


1. Names of 150 Egyptian Kings, pp. 118-124. 
2-27. Mythological Illustrations, pp. 127-138. 

28. Mohammedan Postures of Prater, p. 148. 

29. Dancing Dervishes, p. 151. 
30-47. Art Illustrations, pp. 158-172. 

48. Arabian Barber, p. 235. 

49. Lady in Walking Dress, p. 247. 

50. Woman and Child, p. 247. 

51. 52. Water-carriers (Sakka, Hemali), pp. 248, 249. 

53. Public Kitchen, p. 249. 

54. Section. of a Pyramid, showing the structure, p. 351. 

55. The Great Sphinx, at the time of its excavation, p. 363. 

56. Interior of the Apis Tombs at Sakkara, p. 386. 

57-76. Beliefs in the Mastaba of Ti, at Sakkara, pp. 390-400. 


are used as marks of commendation. 


'/ shall now speak at greater length of 
Egypt , as it contains more wonders than 
any other land, and is pre-eminent above 
all the countries in the world for works 
that one can hardly describe.'' 

Herodotus (B.C. 456). 

At the close of last century Egypt was in a great measure re- 
discovered by the French savants attached to Bonaparte's Egyptian 
expedition. Since that period it has attracted the ever-increasing 
attention of the scientific ; its historical and archaeological marvels 
have been gradually unveiled to the world ; it is the most ancient, 
and was yet at one time the most civilised country of antiquity ; 
and it therefore cannot fail to awaken the profoundest interest in 
all students of the history and development of human culture. 

Like other countries of the far East, Egypt possesses for the 
'Frank' traveller the twofold attraction of scenery and history. To 
the first category belong the peculiar charms of its Oriental climate, 
the singularly clear atmosphere, the wonderful colouring and effects 
of light and shade, such as are unknown in more northern climates, 
the exuberant fertility of the cultivated districts contrasted with the 
solemn, awe-inspiring desert, and the manners, customs, and ap- 
pearance of a most interesting, though not always pleasing, popu- 
lation. At the same time Egypt is pre-eminent among the coun- 
tries of the East, and indeed among those of the whole world, as the 
cradle of history and of human culture. At every step we en- 
counter venerable monuments which have survived the destructive 
influences of thousands of years and the vandalism of invaders and 
conquerors, and which are executed on so grand a scale, with so 
much artistic skill, and with such historical consistency, as at 
once to excite our highest admiration and command our most pro- 
found respect. 

Owing to its distance from the homes of most travellers, and to 
the expense involved in exploring it, Egypt will never be overrun 
by tourists to the same extent as Switzerland or Italy; but it is now 
reached without difficulty by one of the numerous Mediterranean 
steamboat lines, and increased facilities are afforded to travellers 
by the recent construction of railways (p. 11) within the country 
itself, while its unrivalled attractions abundantly reward the enter- 
prising traveller and supply him with a subject of life-long interest. 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 1 

I. Preliminary Information. 

(1). Flan of Tour. Season. Companions. Eoutes. 

Plan. The facilities for travel in Egypt are now such that the 
intending visitor may make an outline of his tour at home -with 
almost as great ease as for most of the countries of Europe. During 
the travelling season, moreover, the weather is always fine (comp. 
p. 67), and never causes disappointment and derangement of plans 
as in most other countries. If, therefore, the traveller from a more 
northern region retains his energy in this somewhat enervating 
climate, and resists the undoubted attractions of the 'dolce far 
niente', he will have no difficulty in disposing of every day to ad- 

Season. From the beginning of November till the middle or 
end of April there are but few days of bad weather in the interior 
of Egypt ; the prevalent temperature is that of a delicious spring or 
moderate summer, and the few drops of rain that occasionally fall 
will hardly be observed by the European traveller. The fertilising 
inundation of the Nile (p. 57) has by this time subsided, and the 
whole face of the country smiles with fresh verdure. About the 
end of April, and sometimes as early as March, begins the period 
of the Khamsin (p. 69), a sultry, parching, and enervating wind 
from the desert, prevailing at longer or shorter intervals for about 
fifty days (whence the name), though in some seasons it does not 
make its appearance at all. Winter is therefore the proper season 
for a tour in Egypt. Those travellers, however, who can endure 
the fierce glare of an African summer sun will at that season have 
the advantage of seeing the extent of the overflow of the Nile, and 
will find that prices are then generally much lower than in winter. 
(Compare also p. 74.) 

Companions. The traveller can hardly be recommended to start 
alone for a tour in a country whose customs and language are so 
entirely different from his own ; but, if he has been unable to make 
up a suitable party at home, he will probably have an opportunity 
of doing so at Alexandria or Cairo, or possibly at Suez or Port Sa r id. 
Travelling as a member of a party is, moreover, much less ex- 
pensive than travelling alone, many of the items being the same for 
a single traveller as for several together. Apart, however, from the 
pecuniary advantage, a party is more likely to succeed in making 
satisfactory arrangements with the natives with whom they have 
to deal. (Voyage up the Nile, see vol. ii ; journey to Mt. Sinai, 
R. 10.) 

Routes. A glimpse at Lower Egypt, i.e. Alexandria, Cairo, 
and the Suez Canal, may be obtained in three weeks (exclusive of 
the journey out) ; and the traveller may distribute his time as 
follows : — 


Alexandria iy 2 Days. 

Railway to Cairo 1, or including Tanta ... Vfe 

Cairo and its environs, trie Pyramids, etc. 10 

Railway to Suez and stay there 3 

Visit to the Springs of Moses 1 

Railway to Isma'iliya 1 

Steamer on the Suez Canal to Port Sa'id ... 1 

Days of rest 2 

"21 Days. 
These three weeks , however, might be spent very pleasantly 
at Cairo alone. 

A visit to Mt. Sinai requires 18-24 Days. 

The Fayum 4-6 

Voyage up the Nile and hack — 

(a) By steamer, as far as Assuan, and hack, 21 ; 
thence, from above the first cataract to Abu 
Simhel near the second cataract, and back 11 32 

(b) By dahabiyeh to Assuan, and back, about 60 

(c) By dahabiyeh to Abu Simbel and back . . 90 - 

A complete tour through Egypt, including the Nile and the pen- 
insula of Mt. Sinai, will thus occupy 3-5 months in all. 

(2). Expenses. Money. 

Expenses. The cost of a tour in Egypt, and in Oriental coun- 
tries generally, is considerably greater than that of a visit to any 
part of Europe, the reasons being that most travellers cannot con- 
form with the simple habits of the natives, that they are ignorant 
of the language, and that special arrangements have to be made to 
meet their requirements. The average charge at the hotels for a 
day's board and lodging is 15-25 fr., without wine (compare p. 17). 
The cheapest wine costs 3-4 fr. per bottle ; English beer 2-2'/ 2 fr-5 
fee 72" 1. fr. ; the traveller's hotel expenses will therefore amount 
to at least 20-30 fr. a day, to which must be added the hire of don- 
keys and carriages and the inevitable 'pourboires'. The total day's 
expenditure should therefore be estimated at 30 fr. at least. (Steam- 
boat-fares are of course extra ; p. 10). 

The traveller whose time is very limited, or who is accompanied 
by ladies, will also require the services of a guide or valet-de-place, 
or 'dragoman', as they prefer to style themselves (5-8 fr. per day). 

Money. A small sum of money for the early part of the journey 
may be taken in English or French gold, or in English banknotes, 
but large sums should always be in the form of circular notes. 
These notes, which if kept separate from the 'letter of indication' 
cannot be cashed by a thief or a dishonest finder , are issued by the 
principal London banks. Fresh supplies may be forwarded from 
England by post-office order, in sums not exceeding 500 fr. 



The current rate of exchange should always be ascertained from 
a banker (pp. 206, 232; see also Table, p. 5), and money should be 
changed as rarely as possible at an ordinary money-changer's, at a 
hotel, in the bazaars, or through a dragoman. For excursions in 
the country the traveller should be provided with an ample supply 
of small change (silver piastres, half-piastres, and copper coin), as 
the villagers sometimes refuse to change money of any kind, and 
the traveller may thus be very seriously inconvenienced. They also 
frequently decline to take a coin if the inscription is worn away by 
use, and in their examination of gold pieces they attach great im- 
portance to the ring of the metal. The traveller should also be on 
his guard against counterfeit dollars and piastres. A favourite orna- 
ment with Oriental women consists of a string of gold coins worn 
round the head, or as a necklace, and coins with holes in them aTe 
accordingly often met with, but they are very apt to be rejected by 
the natives. In changing money, therefore, all these points should 
be attended to. It need hardly be observed that money should al- 
ways be carefully kept under lock and key, and that it should be 
shown as little as possible, in order that the cupidity of the people 
with whom the traveller has to do may not be aroused. 

Paper money is unknown in the East. Besides the Egyptian 
coinage, which moreover has two different rates of exchange + , 
Turkish, French, English, Italian, Austrian, and Russian gold and 
silver coins are freely circulated. 

The unit of reckoning in the Egyptian currency is the Piastre, 
which contains 40 Paras. In ordinary retail traffic accounts are 
kept in current-piastres, which are worth one-half of the govern- 
ment tariff-piastres. As, however, these do not, as might be sup- 
posed, indicate two different coins, this twofold mode of reckoning 
is exceedingly puzzling to strangers. It should be particularly ob- 
served that at the shops and bazaars the prices are always fixed in 
current piastres, so that half the number of silver coins only has to 
be given. The shopkeepers, however, generally convert their prices 
into francs for the benefit of strangers, and although their demands 
are then somewhat raised, they are at least more intelligible. On 
the other hand, in making small purchases, and in dealing with 
country-people, it is more advantageous to keep to the reckoning 
in current piastres, as the sellers are very apt to demand as many 
francs as the amount of the price in piastres. 

t There are indeed three rates of exchange: 'Tariff', 'Current', and 
'Copper'; and the latter is also liable to considerable fluctuation in the 
interior of the country. In Cairo, at present, 1 tariff piastre is worth 
8 copper piastres. (At Cairo and Alexandria, however, copper money 
may be declined.) The value of copper increases as we penetrate into 
the interior. Thus, at the beginning of 1877, 1 Napoleon realised 480 
copper piastres at Alexandria, 450 at Cairo and beyond it as far as Siut 
and 420 only higher up the river. No advantage, however, can be derived 
from this difference in value except when very large payments are made 
in copper, as is the custom with the peasantry. As all the taxes are 


Value in 









Arabian Name 

European Name 























Gold Coins. 

Gineh Masri 

Egyptian pound 





Nusseh „ 

half „ „ 





Rub'a „ 

quarter „ „ 













Nusseh Masriyeh 

tenth „ „ 






Rub'a „ 

twentieth „ „ 






Gineh Stambuli 

Turkish pound 





<• 22 


a. In mercantile 

Nusseh „ 

half „ „ 







transactions fre- 

Rub'a „ 

quarter „ „ 







quently reckon- 

Gineh Ingilisi or 

English sovereign 

ed as 23 fr. 








Nusseh „ „ 

half „ „ 








Napoleon d'Or 







Nusseh Bintu 

half „ „ 







Rub'a „ 

quarter „ „ 







Gineh Moskufi 

Russian Imperial 6 







b. Not often met 


Austrian Ducat 







with , and can- 

Silver Coins. 

not be changed 

Riyal Masri 

Egyptian Dollar 







without a slight 

Nusseh Riyal 



half „ „ 







Rub'a „ „' 

quarter „ „ 







Tumneh „ „ 

eighth „ „ 








Parisi c 







C.Egyptian coins 

Nusseh Bariseh 

half „ 







struck at Paris. 

Rub'a „ 

quarter „ 








Silver piastre 







Nusseh Kirsh 

half „ „ 







Rub'a ' „ 

quarter „ „ 







Riyal Shinku 

5-franc piece- 















Nusseh Ferank 

half „ 








Rupee d (2s.) 







d. The Anglo-In- 

Nusseh Rubiyeh 

half „ 







dian coin, much 

Rub'a „ 

quarter „ 








Abu Medfa' « 

Spanish Douro 







e. Called 'father 

Riyal Abutera 

Maria Theresa dollar 







of the cannon' 

Riyal Moskufl 








by the Arabs, 

Riyal „ ilia rub'a 

three-quarters ruble 







who mistake 


half „ 







the columns foi 

Rub'a „ „ 

quarter „ 








Rub'a Fiorini 

Quarter Austr. florin 














Nusseh „ 







payable in gold and silver only, the precious metals flow steadily from 
the country to the government coffers in the towns, where Greek and 
Jewish money-changers profit largely by these variations in the exchange. 
The 'shekhs-el-beled', or village-chiefs, who always endeavour to de- 
preciate the value of copper, also gain considerably by similar transactions. 


(3). Passports. Custom House. 

Passports aie usually asked for at all the Egyptian ports, and if 
the traveller is unprovided with one he is liable to detention and 
great inconvenience. The passport is given up at the custom-house 
and reclaimed at the traveller's consulate. 

Custom House. The custom-house examination at Alexandria 
is generally carried out with great thoroughness, though with per- 
fect politeness, and no article of luggage is allowed to escape un- 
opened. One of the objects chiefly sought for is cigars, on which 75 
per cent of the estimated value is charged. Considerable difficulty 
is also made about admitting firearms and cartridges. The custom- 
house is now under European management, and it is on the whole 
advisable to refrain from an attempt to facilitate matters by bak- 
shish (p. 16). 

On all goods exported, one per cent of duty is charged on the 
estimated value, and luggage is accordingly examined again as the 
traveller quits the country. The exportation of antiquities is strictly 
prohibited (p. 25). If luggage be forwarded across the frontier, 
the keys must be sent with it ; but, if possible, the traveller should 
always superintend the custom-house examination in person. 

(4). Consulates. 

Consuls in the East enjoy the same privilege of exterritoriality 
as ambassadors in other countries. A distinction is sometimes made 
between professional ('consules missi') and commercial consuls, 
the former alone having political functions to discharge ; and there 
are consuls, vice-consuls, and consular agents, possessing various 
degrees of authority. In all cases of emergency the traveller should 
apply for advice to the nearest consul of his country, through whom 
the authorities are most conveniently approached, and who will 
effectually watch over his interests. It is therefore very desirable 
that travellers should take the earliest possible opportunity of en- 
tering into friendly relations with these most useful officials, and 
the more so as access to some of the principal objects of interest cannot 
be obtained without their intervention. The kavasses, or consular 
officers, also render important services to travellers, for which they 
expect a fee, although not entitled to demand payment. 

On 1st Jan. 1876 an important reform in the Egyptian Legal System 
came into operation for a provisional period of five years. Foreigners 
had hitherto been entirely withdrawn from the civil and criminal juris- 
diction of the Egyptian authorities, their consul alone being competent 
to take cognisance of cases in which they were concerned. Besides the 
native authorities, there thus existed no fewer than seventeen co-ordinate 
consular tribunals , each of which administered the law of its own 
country; and, as it was often uncertain before which tribunal and by 
what law a case would ultimately be decided, the system caused serious 
inconvenience both to the landed and commercial interests. The Egyptian 
government at length made a proposal , which was specially supported 
by the then minister Nubar Pasha, and was acceded to by the powers 


represented by consuls, that mixed tribunals should be appointed, consist- 
ing of courts of first and second instance, for the trial of all civil cases 
arising between natives and foreigners, or between foreigners of different 
nationalities , in accordance with Egyptian law , founded on that of 
France and Italy. Cases in which the Khedive himself and the Egyptian 
government are concerned are also tried before this new tribunal, so 
that the system of appeals, formerly so much abused, is now done away 
with. The courts of the first instance are at Alexandria and Cairo. 
The judges consist of natives and foreigners, the latter being elected by 
the Khedive out of the qualified officials nominated by the Great Powers. 
The appeal court at Alexandria is constituted in the same manner. 
Some of the judges of the first instance are also chosen from members 
of the smaller European states. These courts enjoy a constitutional 
guarantee for the independence of their jurisdiction , and , so far as 
necessary, they execute their judgments by means of their own officers. 
The languages used are Arabic, French, and Italian. From 1881 to 1884 
the jurisdiction of these mixed tribunals was prolonged by the consent 
of the Powers from year to year, and at the beginning of the latter year 
it was agreed to continue it for another period of five years. — Besides 
these new courts, the consular and local tribunals still continue to sub- 
sist, their jurisdiction being, however, limited to criminal cases and 
to civil suits between foreigners of the same nationality, provided the 
question does not affect land. 

At the beginning of 1884 there was called into existence a new sy- 
stem of Native Courts, which take precedence of the mixed courts in de- 
ciding criminal cases between natives and foreigners. The general pro- 
cedure is based on the Code Napoleon. Courts of the first instance have 
been, or are to be erected at Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta, Zakazik, Benha, 
Beni Suef, Siut, and Kene, while the courts of appeal are at Cairo and 
Siut. With the native judges are associated ten Belgians, two Dutch- 
men, and one Englishman. — A scheme is, however, on foot to appoint a 
commission to extend to the mixed tribunals the criminal jurisdiction in 
cases where different nationalities are engaged. 

(5). Steamboats on the Mediterranean. 

Alexandria, the chief seaport of Egypt, is regularly visited by 
English, French, Austrian, Italian, Russian, Greek, and Egyptian 
steamers. Whether the traveller returns westwards on leaving 
Egypt, or intends to proceed to Syria or elsewhere, it is important 
that he should be familiar with the principal steamboat services. 

The time-tables of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. may 
be obtained in London at 122 Leadenhall St., E.C., or at 25 Cockspur St., 
S.W. Those who purpose including Syria, Greece, and Constantinople in 
their Oriental tour should also, before leaving home , write to the 
'•Administration des Services des Messageries Maritimes, 16 Rue Cannebiere, 
Marseilles' 1 for a '■Livret des Lignes de la Midilerranie et de la Mer Noire', 
and to the ' Verwaltungsrath der Dampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft des Oester- 
reich-Ungariscken Lloyd, Trieste' for '■Information for Passengers by the 
Austrian Lloyd's Steam Navigation Company' (published in English). With 
the aid of these time-tables, the traveller will have little difficulty in 
making out his programme. See also '■Baedeker's Palestine and Syria' 
(sold at the bookshops of Alexandria and Cairo). 

In selecting a route the traveller must of course be guided by 
circumstances and his own inclination. The shortest sea-voyage is 
that from Brindisi, three days and a half; from Trieste (via, Corfu), 
or from Venice (via. Ancona and Brindisi), five days ; from Naples, 
four days. The last-named route is perhaps the best for returning, as 
the temperature of Naples and Rome forms a pleasant intermediary 



•between the warmth of Egypt and the colder climate of N. Europe. 
The vessels of the principal lines are all nearly on a par with 
regard to comfort and speed , many of them heing large and hand- 
somely fitted up, while others are inferior. 

The First Class cabins and berths are always well furnished ; those 
of the Second Class, though less showy, are tolerably comfortable, and 
are often patronised by gentlemen travelling alone. In autumn and 
winter the vessels bound for Alexandria, and in spring those returning 
westwards, are apt to be crowded. 

The Food , which is included in the first-class fare and usually in 
the second also, is always abundant and of good quality. Passengers 
begin the day by ordering a cup of coffee at 7 or 8 o'clock ; at 9 or 10 
a dejeuner a la fourchette of three courses is served; lunch or tiffin is 
a similar repast at 12 or 1 ; and at 5 or 6 there is a very ample dinner, 
after which tea is generally provided. Many travellers prefer the cookery 
on board the French and Austrian steamers as being lighter and better 
suited to the climate than that of the English vessels. Passengers who 
are prevented by sickness from partaking of the regular repasts are 
supplied with lemonade and other refreshments gratis. 

The Steward's Fee, which the passenger pays at the end of the 
voyage , is generally from '/2 fr. to 1 fr. per day ; but more is expected 
if unusual trouble has been given. 

The Baths provided for the use of passengers in the English and 
some of the other vessels may be used without extra charge , but the 
attendant expects a fee at the end of the voyage. 

Difference in Solar 

fin minutes, + or — signifying that the t 

me of the place at 

the head of the 







































+ 12 






— 4 


— 119 

— 98 


+ 65 

+ 77 




l h 





+ 62 



— 54 

— 33 


— 12 








- 15 


— 131 

— 110 


+ 25 


+ 36 







+ 21 



— 95 

— 73 


4- 66 



+ 78 







+ 62 



- 54 

— 32 


+ 47 


+ 59 







+ 44 



— 72 

— 51 


— 6 


+ 6 







— 9 


— 125 

— 104 


+ 4 


+ 15 











— 116 

- 94 


+ 40 


+ 52 









+ 36 

— 80 

— 58 


+ 119 



+ 131 









+ 116 



+ 21 


+ 98 



+ 110 









+ 94 



— 21 


+ 57 


+ 69 









+ 54 



— 62 

— 41 


+ 13 



+ 85 









+ 69 



— 46 

— 25 


+ 62 


+ 74 









+ 59 



— 57 

— 36 

New York 

+ 415 

+ 350 

+ 427 

+ 391 

+ 350 

+ 368 



+ 412 

+ 376 

+ 296 

+ 317 


+ 110 



+ 122 









+ 107 



— 9 

+ 12 


+ 43 



+ 55 









+ 40 



— 76 

— 55 


+ TO 



+ 81 









+ 66 



— 50 

— 28 

St. Petersb. 

— 2 



+ 10 









— 5 


— 121 

— 100 


+ 64 



+ 76 









+ 61 



— 55 

— 34 


+ 70 



+ 82 









+ 66 



- 49 

- 28 


+ 54 


+ 66 









+ 50 



— 66 

- 44 



Tickets should never be taken at foreign ports through the medium 
of commissionnaires or other persons who offer their services , but the 
traveller should, if possible, purchase them at the office in person. The 
tickets bear the name of the passenger and the name and hour of depar- 
ture of the vessel. Return or circular tickets (to Syria and Constantinople) 
and family tickets for three or more persons are generally issued at a 
reduced rate, but no reduction is made on the charge for food. A child 
of 2-10 years pays half-fare, but must share the berth of its attendant; 
but for two children a whole berth is allowed. 

Luggage of 150-220 lbs. is allowed to first-class, and of 85-135 lbs. to 
second-class passengers. 

Embarkation. Passengers should be on board an hour before the 
advertised time of starting. At Marseilles, Trieste, and Brindisi the 
vessels start from the quays, so that passengers can walk on board ; but 
at Venice and Naples passengers are conveyed to the steamers in small 
boats, for which the charge at all the Italian ports is 1 franc or lira for 
each person, including luggage. Good order is kept at these ports by 
the police. Payment of the boat-fare should not be made until the 
passenger and his luggage are safe on deck. Before the heavier luggage 
is lowered into the hold, the passenger should see it properly labelled. 

All complaints should be addressed to the captain. On board the 
foreign steamers a kind of military precision is affected, and questions 
addressed to the officers or crew are apt to be answered very curtly. 

From Trieste to Alexandria (Austrian Lloyd) every Friday 

at midday. On Saturday and Sunday the Dalmatian and Albanian 

Time between : — 

column is b 

3fore or behind that of the place on 

the 1 

eft side of the page) 




















u at 









fn > 



- 57 

— 73 

— 62 

— 415 

— 110 



4- 2 


— 70 

— 54 


+ 8 

— 8 

+ 3 

— 350 

- 45 





4- 67 



— 5 

4- 12 


- 69 

- 85 

— 74 

— 427 

— 122 





— 10 


— 82 

— 66 


— 33 

— 48 

— 38 

— 391 

— 86 





+ 26 



— 46 

- 29 


+ 9 

— 7 

+ 3 

— 350 

— 44 





+ 68 



— 4 

4- 12 


- 10 

— 26 

— 15 

— 308 

— 63 





4- 49 


- 23 

— 7 


- 63 

— 79 

— 68 

— 421 

- 116 





— 4 



— 76 

— 60 


- 54 

- 69 

— 59 

— 412 

— 107 





+ 5 



— 66 

— 50 


- 17 

— 33 

+ 23 

— 376 

— 70 





4- 42 



— 30 

— 14 


4- 62 

+ 46 

+ 57 

— 296 

+ 9 





4- 121 



4- 49 

4- 66 


+ 41 

+ 25 

+ 36 

— 317 

— 12 





4- lO0 



4- 28 

+ 44 


— 16 

— r> 

— 358 

— 53 





4- 59 



— 13 

4- 3 


4- 16 

+ n 

— 342 

— 37 





4- 75 



4- 3 

4- 19 


+ 5 

— 11 

- 353 

— 48 




4- 64 



— 8 

4- 9 

New York 

+ 358 

4- 342 

4- 353 

4- 305 



+ 346 

4- 417 



4- 345 



4- 53 

4- 37 

+ 48 

— 305 





4- 112 



4- 40 

4- 56 


- 14 

— 30 

— 19 

— 372 

— 67 


4- 45 



— 27 

— 11 


+ 12 

— 3 

+ 7 

— 346 

— 41 



4- 71 



- 'Is 

4- 16 

St. Petersb. 

— 59 

— 75 

— 64 

— 417 

— 112 






- 72 

— 56 


+ 7 

— 9 

+ 2 

— 351 

— 46 





4- 66 

— 6 

4- 10 


+ 13 

— 3 

+ 8 

— 345 

— 40 





4- 72 



4- 16 


— 3 

— 19 

— 9 

— 361 

- 56 




4- 56 


— 16 


coast lies on the left. Arrival at Corfu on Sunday at noon, and halt 
of 4-5 hours; arrival at Alexandria generally about 4p.m. on Wed- 
nesday. — From Alexandria to Trieste every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ; 
arrival at Trieste on Sunday at 6p.m. — Fares to Alexandria : 1st 
class 120 fl. ; 2nd class 80 fl., in gold. The journey may be broken 
at any of the intermediate ports. 

From Venice and Brindisi to Alexandria. The steamers of 
the Peninsular and Oriental Company leave Venice every Thursday 
afternoon, touch next morning at Ancona, and on Sunday morning 
at Brindisi, where they receive the English mails for India (arriving 
from London via, Paris and Turin in 56 hrs.). They then leave 
Brindisi at 4 a.m. on Monday for Alexandria, where they generally 
arrive on Thursday. — From Alexandria to Brindisi the depar- 
tures take place on Thurs. , Frid., Sat., or Sun., 36 hrs. after the 
arrival of the Indian mail in Suez , notice of which is given at the 
post-office. — The fare to Alexandria, either from Venice or Brin- 
disi, is 12Z. for the 1st cabin and Ql. for the 2nd cabin, so that pas- 
sengers embarking at Venice effect a considerable saving. 

From Marseilles and Naples. Vessels of the Messageries 
Maritimes leave Marseilles every Thursday about noon , arrive at 
Naples on Saturday morning, start again after a halt of some hours, 
and arrive at Alexandria on Wednesday about 5 p.m. On the voyage 
from Marseilles to Naples these vessels pass through the Strait of 
Bonifacio, but on the return-voyage they steer round Capo Corso in 
order to avoid adverse currents. In quitting the harbour at Naples 
the passenger enjoys a delightful view in fine weather. On the 
voyage out the vessel passes through the Strait of Messina at night. 
— From Alexandria to Naples and Marseilles every Tuesday at 
9 a.m. On Friday about noon the vessel sights the Calabrian 
coast with the Capo Spartivento , and to the W. the pyramidal 
.<Etna , which is covered with snow until summer. It then steers 
through the Strait of Messina on the E. side , commanding a view 
of the beautiful promontory of Aspromonte on the right ; towards 
evening it passes close to the island of Stromboli , and next day 
(Saturday) arrives at Naples about 2 p.m. — Fares from Marseilles 
to Alexandria 375 and 250 fr. ; from Naples 275 and 175 fr. 

Besides these steamboats may be mentioned those of the Italian 
Societa Florio-Rubattino, which ply between Genoa, Leghorn, Naples, 
Messina, and Alexandria once weekly (leaving Alexandria on Saturdays), 
and those of the French firm Fkaissinet & Co. which ply between Mar- 
seilles, Leghorn, and Alexandria twice monthly. The fares are abont 
one-third lower than those above mentioned. The departures are adver- 
tised at the hotels of the different ports. 

The Russian and Egyptian Steamers , the former of which are 
tolerably comfortable, ply between Alexandria and the eastern ports 
only (Syrian coast, Constantinople), and are not recommended to ordinary 
travellers. Fares and departures advertised at the hotels. — English 
Freight Steamers, with accommodation for a few passengers, ply between 
Alexandria and Leghorn at irregular intervals, which may be ascertained 
at the Alexandrian agency, Messrs. R. J. Moss <£• Co. 


(6). Modes of Travelling in Egypt. 

Railways. A network of railways constructed by the Egyptian 
government now connects most of the important places in the Delta. 
The engineer of the oldest of these lines , that from Alexandria to 
Cairo, was Mr. Stephenson, and the others were planned by Faid- 
Bey. The railways are under the management of a board of admin- 
istration, the president of which is a native, while most of the 
members are Englishmen or other Europeans. The carriages re- 
semble those of other countries , but the third class is insufferably 
dirty. ' The dust and heat render railway travelling in Egypt ex- 
ceedingly unpleasant in hot weather. 

The traveller should be at the station fully half-an-hour before 
the hour for starting, as the process of issuing tickets and booking 
luggage is often very slow, and the ticket-clerks are entitled to 
close the office 10 minutes before the departure of the train. Gold 
coins that are in any degree either defaced or of light weight are 
not accepted at the booking-office. The personal tickets are printed 
in English and Arabic, the luggage tickets in Arabic only. The 
hours of departure are seldom altered , and those at present fixed 
are given in the following pages. 

Steamboats on the Suez Canal, see R. 7. 

Donkeys (Arab, homdr) form the best means of conveyance 
both in the narrow streets of the towns and on the bridle-paths 
in the country. They are of a much finer, swifter, and more 
spirited race than the European, and at the same time patient and 
persevering. Those in the towns are generally well saddled and 
bridled in Oriental style. The attendants are either men or boyst, 
who contrive to keep up with their beasts at whatever pace they 
are going, and often address long sentences to them in their Arabic 
patois. As the gait of the donkeys is sometimes very uneasy when 
they break into a trot, care should be taken not to engage one with 
this defect for an excursion of any length. As the stirrups are 
often in bad condition they had better not be used at all. The 
donkey-boys (Arab, hammar) are fond of showing off the pace of 
their beasts, and often drive them unpleasantly fast. The rider 
who prefers a slower pace shouts 'ala mahlak or r ala mahlakum ; if 
a quicker pace is wanted, yalla, yalla, or maslu, or suk el-homar ; 
if a halt is to be made, osbur, or the English word 'stop'. The 
donkey-boys, especially at Cairo, are generally remarkably active, 
intelligent, and obliging. Many of the donkeys, particularly in the 
country, will be observed to have been deprived of part of one or 
both ears. This has been done, according to the somewhat cruel 
practice of the country, as a punishment for trespass, an additional 

t The boys are preferable to the men , as the latter are generally 
more exorbitant in their demands and less obliging, and even their 
donkeys appear to partake of their unpleasant disposition. 


fragment being cut off for each repetition of the offence, and the 
delinquents are known as haramtyeh, or thieves. The horse and don- 
key-shoes consist of plates of metal with a hole in the middle. 

The Camel (for riding hegin, in Syria delul ; for haggage gemel ; 
those with one hump are the only kind found here) is generally used 
for the Mt. Sinai tour (R. 10) only, hut for the sake of experiment 
may be ridden on one of the shorter excursions from Cairo (e.g. to 
the Petrified Forest or to Helwan). The patient 'ship of the desert' 
is always surly in appearance, and though he commands our respect 
never wins our affection. Those only which have been properly 
trained can be ridden with any comfort, the baggage-camels being 
as unsuitable for the purpose as the ponderous Flemish cart-horse. 
If well mounted on a tall and well trained hegtn, the traveller will 
find that camel-riding is quite undeserving of the vituperation so 
often bestowed upon it by the inexperienced (comp. also R. 10). 

(7). Dealings with the Natives. Dragomans. 

The traveller, apart from his ignorance of the language, will 
find it exceedingly difficult to deal with the class of people with 
whom he chiefly comes in contact. The extravagance of their 
demands is boundless, and they appear to think that Europeans 
are absolutely ignorant of the value of money (p. 16). Every at- 
tempt at extortion should be firmly resisted, as compliance only 
makes the applicants for bakhshish doubly clamorous. Payment 
should never be made until the service stipulated for has been 
rendered , after which an absolutely deaf ear should be turned to 
the protestations and entreaties which almost invariably follow. 
Thanks, it need hardly he said, must never be expected from such 
recipients (comp. p. 16). Even when an express bargain has been 
made, and more than the stipulated sum paid, they are almost sure 
to pester the traveller in the way indicated. When no bargain has 
been made, the fees and prices mentioned in the Handbook, all of 
which are ample, should be paid without remark ; and if the attacks 
which ensue are not silenced by an air of calm indifference the 
traveller may use the word ruh or imshi (comp. p. 204) in a quiet but 
decided and imperative tone. The Egyptians, it must be remem- 
bered , occupy a much lower grade in the scale of civilisation than 
most of the western nations, and cupidity is one of their chief fail- 
ings ; but if the traveller makes due allowance for their shortcomings, 
and treats the natives with consistent firmness, he will find that they 
are by no means destitute of fidelity, honesty, and kindliness. 

Notwithstanding all the suggestions we have ventured to offer, 
the traveller will to some extent have to buy his experience. In 
most cases the overcharges to which he will be exposed will be 
comparatively trifling ; but if extortion is attempted on a larger 
scale, he had better refer the matter to his consul. 


Travellers about to make a tour of any length may avoid all the 
petty annoyances incident to direct dealings with the natives by 
placing themselves under the care of a Dragoman (Arab, tur- 

The word dragoman, is derived from the Chaldaean targem, 'to explain', 
or from targtim, 'explanation'. The Arabic targam also signifies 'to inter- 
pret'. The dragoman was therefore originally merely a guide who ex- 
plained or interpreted. Since the 7th cent. B.C. when Psammetichus I. 
threw open the country to foreign trade, against which it had previously 
been jealously closed, this class, which is mentioned by Herodotus as a 
distinct caste , has existed in Egypt. That author informs us that 
Psammetichus caused a number of Egyptian children to be educated by 
Greeks in order that they might learn their language ; and it was these 
children who afterwards became the founders of the dragoman caste. 
The great historian himself employed a dragoman , from whom he fre- 
quently derived erroneous information. A dragoman, who was employed 
by the governor iElius Gallus to accompany him up the Nile, is accused 
by Strabo of absurdity, conceit, and ignorance. The ignorant Arabian, 
Nubian, or Maltese dragomans of the present day do not attempt to ex- 
plain or translate the ancient inscriptions. An effort was recently made 
with some success to educate young Arabs for this calling in a school 
founded for the purpose ; but , like most Oriental undertakings , the 
scheme has not been persevered with. 

The dragomans , who speak English , French , and Italian, 
undertake for a fixed sum per day to defray the whole cost of 
locomotion, hotel accommodation, fees, and all other expenses, so 
that the traveller is enabled to obtain , as it were, a bird's eye view 
of the country without being concerned with the cares of daily life. 
On the other hand the traveller is frequently imposed upon by 
the dragoman himself. 

The charge made by the dragoman varies very greatly according 
to circumstances , such as the number and the requirements of the 
travellers, the length of the journey, and the amount of the demand 
for the services of such a guide. A dragoman is usually employed 
for the longer tours only, such as the voyage up the Nile, the journey 
to Mt. Sinai, the excursion to the Fayum, and a visit to the less fre- 
quented towns in the Delta. Visitors to Alexandria, Cairo, Suez, 
Isma'iliya, and Port Said may well dispense with a dragoman , as 
every necessary service will be rendered them by the commission- 
naires of the hotels (5-10 fr. per day). Dragomans of the better 
class, moreover, usually consider it beneath their dignity to escort 
their employers through the streets of the towns , and are apt to 
consign them to the guidance of the local cicerones. 

For the above-named longer tours the charges vary so greatly, 
and the services to be rendered on each are so different, that a 
separate contract with the dragoman should be drawn up in each 
case. (Thus, for the Nile voyage he has to procure a dahabiyeh, 
for the Fayum horses , for Mt. Sinai camels , for the Delta canal- 
boats and donkeys, and, for the last three journeys, tents also.) 
Information regarding expenses and other details, as well as the 
names of some of the best dragomans, will be prefixed to each of 
the routes in question. The larger the party , the less will be the 


expense for each member of it, while for a single traveller a drago- 
man is of course a very costly appendage. 

In conclusion, we may add that most of the dragomans are fond 
of assuming a patronising manner towards their employers, while 
they generally treat their own countrymen with an air of vast 
superiority. The sooner this impertinence is checked, the more 
satisfactory will be the traveller's subsequent relations with his 
guide ; and the hints already given with reference to the traveller's 
intercourse with the natives may not unfrequently be applied to 
the dragomans themselves. On the successful termination of the 
journey travellers are too apt from motives of good nature to write 
a more favourable testimonial for their dragoman than he really 
deserves ; but this is truly an act of injustice to his subsequent 
employers, and tends to confirm him in his faults. The testimonial 
therefore should not omit to mention any serious cause for dis- 
satisfaction. Information with regard to dragomans (name, languages 
spoken, conduct, and charges) will always be gratefully received 
by the Editor of the Handbook for the benefit of later editions. 

(8). Equipment for the Tour. 

Dress. It is less important now than it formerly was to pur- 
chase every requirement for the journey before leaving home, as 
the traveller can easily supplement his outfit at some of the modern 
shops of Alexandria or Cairo. For all ordinary purposes a couple 
of light Tweed suits, a few flannel and soft cotton shirts, a supply 
of thin woollen socks, one pair of light and easy boots, one of shoes, 
and one of slippers, a moderately warm Ulster or long travelling cloak, 
a pith-helmet and a soft felt hat, together with the most necessary 
articles of the toilet, will amply suffice. It is advisable, for the pre- 
vention of colds and chills, to wear a woollen fabric next the skin ; 
but light underclothing, with an Oxford shirt, will be found more 
suitable to the climate than a heavy flannel shirt. Those who intend 
making a prolonged stay at the principal towns may add a dress-suit 
and a few white shirts. If a muslin 'puggaree' be used for covering 
the hat, it should be made to fall over the back of the neck and ears 
as broadly as possible. This favourite European head-dress, however, 
invariably attracts hosts of importunate candidates for 'bakshish'. 
Some travellers prefer the fez or tarbush, a red cloth skull-cap 
with black-silk tassel (4-15 fr.), over which, in native fashion, they 
tie a silk keffiyeh (manufactured in Egypt, 15-20 fr.), falling down 
behind in a triangle. This head-dress protects the neck and cheeks 
admirably against the scorching Egyptian sun, especially when a 
folded handkerchief or a white skull-cap (taklyeh) is worn under 
the tarbush. In prolonged riding tours, a sun-shade is a fatiguing 
encumbrance. All these articles should be new and strongly made, 
as it is often difficult and troublesome to get repairs properly exe- 


cuted in Egypt. White shirts, collars, and wristbands, -which require 
frequent and skilful washing, should he as far as possible eschewed, 
as good laundresses are rare and expensive (2-4 fr. per dozen articles, 
irrespective of size). Few travellers walk in Egypt, except for very 
short distances, but sportsmen should add a stout pair of waterproof 
shooting-hoots to their equipment. 

For tours on horse or camel-hack two small portmanteaus are 
much more suitable than a box or trunk of larger size. 

Miscellaneous. Among the most important extras are a drinking 
cup of leather or metal, a flask, a strong pocket-knife, note-books, 
writing-materials, straps and twine, a thermometer, a pocket-com- 
pass of medium size, and a supply of magnesium wire for lighting 
caverns and dark chambers. To these may perhaps be added a 
'remontoir', or keyless watch, as a watch-key lost during the journey 
is not easily replaced. 

Health. Fine as the climate of Egypt generally is, the chilly 
mornings and evenings are often treacherous, and if cold is caught 
it is apt to result in a tedious intermittent or other fever. There 
are good chemists at Alexandria and Cairo, from whom small medi- 
cine-chests adapted for the climate may he purchased. In serious 
cases of illness a European doctor, when procurable, should always 
be consulted, as the traveller's own experience acquired at home is 
of little avail in the climate of Egypt. 

Fits of shivering are the usual prelude to an attack of fever. Qui- 
nine is the best remedy, of which 1-3 doses should be taken on the days 
when the patient is free from fever. Best and copious perspiration will 
also afford relief. 

Diarrhoea, which is apt to turn to dysentery, is a very common com- 
plaint in this climate, and is generally the result of eating unripe fruit 
or of catching cold. The patient should first take a slight aperient, and 
afterwards tincture of opium or concentrated tincture of camphor. A 
simple farinaceous diet (such as well-boiled rice), with tea or well 
matured, unfortified, and unsweetened red wine, will be beneficial, while 
fruit, meat, and fatty substances should be avoided. In cases both of 
diarrhoea and fever all remedies are sometimes unavailing except change 
of climate, especially if the patient is in a marshy or unhealthy locality. 

Sprains, which often result from exploring ruins and caverns, are 
most effectually treated with cold compresses, while the injured limb 
should be tightly bandaged and allowed perfect rest. 

The sting of a scorpion (seldom dangerous) or bite of a snake is 
usually treated with ammonia. 

Sunstroke is very common in Egypt, even in spring when the air is 
still cool. The head and neck should therefore always be carefully 
shielded in one of the ways above indicated. The usual remedies are 
rest and shade, cold compresses, and warm baths with cold douches 
applied to the head and neck. 

Grey spectacles or veils may be used with advantage when the eyes 
suffer from the glare of bright weather. Zinc eye-wash, or some other 
innocuous lotion, should be used in such cases. 

The sticking-plaster , lint , as well as all effervescing powders , and 
other medicines carried by the traveller should be carefully kept from 
exposure to moisture. 


(9). Beggars. Bakshish. 

Most Orientals regard the European traveller as a Crcesus, and 
sometimes too as a madman, — so unintelligible to them are the 
objects and .pleasures of travelling. Poverty, they imagine, is 
unknown among us, whereas in reality we feel its privations far 
more keenly than they. That such erroneous notions prevail is to 
some extent the fault of travellers themselves. In a country where 
the requirements of the natives are few and simple, and money is 
scarce, a few piastres seem a fortune to many. Travellers are there- 
fore often tempted to give for the sake of affording temporary pleasure 
at a trifling cost, forgetting that the seeds of insatiable cupidity are 
thereby sown, to the infinite annoyance of their successors and the 
demoralisation of the recipients themselves. As a rule, bakshish 
should never be given except for services rendered, or to the sick 
and aged. 

Sir Gardner "Wilkinson has justly observed that the cry of 'Bak- 
shish, bakshish, yd khawdgeh' (oh, sir I a gift 1), with which Euro- 
peans are invariably assailed, is an insulting substitute for the 
'good day' of other countries. The Arab reserves his pious bene- 
dictions for his own countrymen, but never hesitates to take advan- 
tage of what he considers the folly of foreign travellers. The best 
reply to such applications is 'ma fish, ma fish' (I have nothing for 
you), which will generally have the effect of dispersing the assailants. 
Or a beggar may be silenced with the words 'Allah ya'tik' (may God 
give thee 1). 

The word bakshish, which resounds so perpetually in the 
traveller's ears during his sojourn in the East, and haunts him long 
afterwards, simply means 'a gift' ; and, as everything is to be had 
in return for gifts, the word has many different applications. 
Thus with bakshish the tardy formalities of the custom-house 
officer are accelerated, bakshish supplies the place of a passport, 
bakshish is the alms bestowed on a beggar, bakshish means black 
mail , and lastly a large proportion of the public officials of the 
country are said to live by bakshish or bribery. 

(10). Public Safety. Weapons. Dogs. 

Public Safety. The authority of the Khedive is so well 
established throughout the whole of P^gypt that travellers are very 
rarely exposed to predatory attacks, even on the Sinai journey, and 
travelling is indeed safer than in some parts of Europe. The pro- 
tection of an escort is therefore never necessary as it is in certain 
regions of Palestine and Syria. Travellers, however, who have 
scientific objects in view, and who require the co-operation of the 
natives or of the pasha or mudir of a district, or those who have 
reason to apprehend any difficulty or danger, may obtain through 
their consulates a viceregal recommendation (firman or teskireh), 
which will often be found very useful. 


"Weapons for self-defence are an unnecessary encumbrance. 
Guns for purposes of sport, see p. 79. 

Dogs, being regarded by the Muslims as unclean (p. 79), are 
never touched by them. Their barking is sometimes a source of 
alarm, especially in country places, but they fortunately never bite. 
As they are never domesticated in Oriental countries, it is quite 
useless to attempt to establish friendly relations with them. 

(11). Hotels. Hospitality. 

Hotels. The traveller will find good, first-class hotels at 
Alexandria, Cairo, Isma'iliya, Port Sa'id, and Suez, kept by Germans, 
Frenchmen, or Greeks, with European waiters. The charges are 
generally high, 15-25 fr. per day being charged during the season 
for board , lodging , and attendance , whether all the meals are 
partaken of or not. For a prolonged stay a lower rate should be 
stipulated for in advance. Wine is generally extra. The waiter 
expects a fee of 2-3 fr. per week, his native assistant iy 2 fr., and the 
porter about 2 fr. ; for errands in the neighbourhood there is generally 
a separate tariff. Orientals attract the attention of waiters by clapping 
their hands, and sometimes with the exclamation — l yd weled' (ho, 
boy !). — Tolerable inns have also sprung up of late years at Tanta, 
Mansura, Zakazik, Damietta, and at Minyeh and Siut in Upper Egypt. 

Hospitality. In all other parts of Egypt the traveller who is 
not provided with tents must apply to the principal natives or 
officials, or to European merchants for accommodation. The latter 
are to be met with in every part of the Delta, and will be found 
most courteous and hospitable. Letters of introduction may be ob- 
tained without difficulty at Alexandria and Cairo. 

(12). Cafes. 
Story-tellers, Musicians, Singers, etc. 

European Capes are to be found at the towns above mentioned, 
beer being one of the refreshments they afford (Y2 fr- per glass). 
The beer either comes from Vienna or Gratz , or is made in Cairo 
by the Socie'te Genevoise. 

Arabian Cafes (kahwa) abound everywhere , even in the 
smallest and dirtiest villages. In the country they usually consist 
of wooden booths, with a few seats made of plaited palm-twigs 
(gertd), and even in the large towns, like Cairo, they are very small 
and uninviting. The kahwas are frequented by the lower classes 
exclusively. The front generally consists of woodwork with a few 
open arches. Outside the door runs a mastaba, or raised seat of 
stone or brick, two or three feet in height and of about the same 
width, covered with mats, and there are similar seats on two or 
three sides of the interior. Coffee is served by the kahwegi at 10 
paras per cup (fingan), and several nargUehs and shishehs or gozehs 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 2 


(water-pipes) are kept in readiness for the use of customers. The 
tumbak (p. 27) smoked in the latter is sometimes mixed with the 
intoxicating hashish (hemp, Cannabis Indica), the strong and un- 
mistakeable smell of which is often perceptible even in the street. 
The sale of hashish is now nominally prohibited in Egypt. 

'The leaves and capsules of hemp, called in Egypt hasheesh, were 
employed in some countries of the East in very ancient times to induce 
an exhilarating intoxication. Herodotus (iv. 75) informs us that the 
Scythians had a custom of burning the seeds of this plant in religious 
ceremonies, and that they became intoxicated with the fumes. Galen 
also mentions the intoxicating properties of hemp. The practice of 
chewing the leaves of this plant to induce intoxication prevailed, or 
existed, in India in very early ages; thence it was introduced into Persia; 
and about six centuries ago (before the middle of the thirteenth century 
of our era) this pernicious and degrading custom was adopted in Egypt, 
but chiefly by persons of the lower orders. . . . The preparation of hemp 
used for smoking produces boisterous mirth. Few inhalations of the 
smoke, but the last very copious, are usually taken from the gozeh. After 
the emission of the last draught from the mouth and nostrils, commonly 
a lit of coughing, and often a spitting of blood, ensues, in consequence 
of the lungs having been filled with the smoke. Hasheesh is to be 
obtained not only at some of the coffee-shops: there are shops of a smaller 
and more private description solely appropriated to the sale of this and 
other intoxicating preparations: they are called mahsheshehs. It is some- 
times amusing to observe the ridiculous conduct, and to listen to the 
conversation, of the persons who frequent these shops. They are all of 
the lower orders. The term hashshdsh, which signifies a smoker, or an 
eater, of hemp, is an appellation of obloquy: noisy and riotous people 
are often called hashshasheen, which is the plural of that appellation, and 
the origin of our word assassin ; a name first applied to Arab warriors in 
Syria , in the time of the Crusades , who made use of intoxicating and 
soporific drugs to render their enemies insensible 1 . 

'The use of opium and other drugs to induce intoxication is not so 
common in Egypt as in many other countries of the East: the number of 
Egyptians addicted to this vice is certainly not nearly so great in pro- 
portion to the whole population as is the relative number of persons in 
our own country who indulge in habitual drunkenness'. . . . 

''Boozeh or boozah, which is an intoxicating liquor made with barley- 
bread, crumbled, mixed with water, strained, and left to ferment, is 
commonly drunk by the boatmen of the Nile , and by other persons of 
the lower orders'. — Lane (1833-35). 

Numerous taverns now exist exclusively for the sale of btizeh, kept 
chiefly by Nubians. It is usually dispensed immediately from a large 
boiler with a wooden ladle, which is passed from mouth to mouth, the 
customers being of both sexes. The liquor is intoxicating in a very 
slight degree. 

Many of the kahwas are frequented, especially on the eves of 
festivals (p. 236), by story-tellers and musicians. The performances 
range from those of a very simple character to gorgeous entertain- 
ments with dancing, music, and fireworks ; and these 'fantasiyas', 
as they are called by the modern Arabs, afford unbounded delight. 

Stoey-tellbes (who in private domestic circles are generally 
women) still form a characteristic Oriental institution. Wherever 
they make their appearance, whether in the public streets or the 
coffee-house, in the densely peopled alleys of the large towns, or in 
the smallest country villages, or among the tents of the wandering 
Arabs, they are sure to attract an attentive, easily pleased, and ex- 
ceedingly grateful crowd. The more sensational the tale, the better, 


and the oftener is the narrator applauded with protracted cries of 
'Aah', or 'Allah', or 'Allahu akbar I '. 

The story-teller generally occupies a small stool on the mastaba, 
whence he delivers his address. Most of the members of this class 
belong to the so-called sho'ara (sing, sha'if), literally 'singers'. 
They are also known as 'Andtireh (sing. 'Antari) or Abu-Zediyeh, 
according as their theme consists of tales and romances from the 
history of f Antar, a Beduin hero, or from that of Abu Zed. Others 
again are called MohaddiUn, i. e. narrators of history, theirprovince 
being the recital in prose of passages from the history of Sultan 
Ez-Zahir Bebars, who reigned over Egypt in 1260-77 (p. 104). 
The entertainments of the 'alf leleh u lileK (thousand and one 
nights) are, however, no longer heard, as popular superstition has 
branded this collection of tales as 'unlucky'. There are also profes- 
sional improvisors and travelling singers, whose performances are 
very popular ; but the themes of the whole fraternity are too often 
of an immoral character. 

Musicians by profession, called dldttyeh (sing, alati), aTe in- 
dispensable on every festive occasion. The usual instruments are 
the rekk or tambourine with little bells, the nakkareh, or semi- 
spherical tambourine, the zemr or hautbois, the tabl beledi or 
drum, the tabl shami or kettle-drum , and the darabukeh , a kind 
of funnel-shaped drum (generally made of earthenware, but some- 
times of mother-of-pearl and tortoise-shell, with a fish-skin stretch- 
ed over the broad end), which last is accompanied by the zummara, 
a kind of double flute. A better class of instruments, used for 
chamber music, consists of the ndi, a kind of flute, the kemengeh or 
two-stringed violin, the body of which consists of a cocoa-nut shell, 
the rebdbeh, or one-stringed violin with a square wooden body, the 
kdnun, a kind of zither with strings of sheep-gut, and lastly the 
'ud, the lute or mandoline, the oldest of all the instruments. 

The Egyptians consider themselves a highly musical people, and the 
traveller will indeed often be struck by the frequency of their singing. 
The Egyptian sings when indulging in his kef (p. 23), whether sitting 
on his heels or stretched out on his mat, when driving his donkey, when 
carrying stones and mortar up a scaffolding, when working in the fields, 
and when rowing. He sings whether alone or in company, regarding his 
vocal music as a means of lightening his labour and of sweetening his 
repose. A peculiarity of the Egyptian songs, however, is that they have 
no tune, though they have a certain rhythm, which is always dependent 
on the text. They are sung through the nose on seven or eight different 
notes, on which the performer wanders up and down as he feels in- 
clined, t The character of this so-called music is exceedingly monotonous, 
and to a European ear displeasing. The songs (mawwdl or shughl) are all of 
a lyrical description, most of them are erotic and often grossly obscene, 
and many are at the same time pointless and meaningless. Some of 

t In the large work entitled the 'Book of Songs' an endeavour is 
made to reduce Arabic music to a system, and the notes are divided 
into seven different keys, each having the same notes, differently arranged ; 
but' the popular songs are sung without the least regard to these artificial 


them, however, extol the pleasures of friendship and rational enjoyment, 
or express derision of an enemy, or contempt for the rustic fellah. Thus 
a favourite song of the donkey-boys derides a young fellah called 'Ali, the 
favourite of his village, and is usually sung in mockery of some one of 
the name. 

Shuftum 'Ali yd nds Shuftum 'Alt ftkum 

Labis 'amis wilbds Walldhtaf tawd'ikum 

Wd'if 'ala-l-'abbds WdhrUli bel'ed min d6l 

Yil'ab el-birgds Wd"ud teldlin ydm 

Wal 'antaret ethaddit Kulluh 'ala shdn 'Ali 

Nas il beled haggit Ya'ni ya'ni 

Kulluh 'ala shdn 'Ali Kulluh 'ala shdn 'Ali. 

Ya'ni ya'ni 
Kulluh 'ala shdn 'Ali. 

1. Have you seen f Ali, ye people, in shirt and drawers, standing on 
the bridge of 'Abbas and showing off his equestrian tricks? But the bridge 
is now destroyed, and half the village has flown away. And all this for 
'Ali's sake, yes, for 'Ali's sake. 

2. Have you seen 'Ali among you? If not, I will run off with your 
skull-caps (p. 14) and will go into one of the villages and remain there 
thirty days. All this for 'Ali's sake, yes, for 'Ali's sake. 

The pleasures of hashish-smoking are thus extolled: — 
Gdzeh min el-hind wumyakkeb 'aleha ghdb 
Wumdandisheh bil wa' wumgamm'a el ahbdb 
Akhatteh minhd nefes el-'akl minni ghdb' 
Ba'et abaldam zei el gamal guwwa 'Ighdb 
Tub 'aleya yd tawwdb 
Min shurb el gdzeh wal ghdb. 

hd hd hd f 
Min shurb el gdzeh wal ghdb. 
Oh cocoa-nut ft of India, in which is fixed the stem inlaid with shells, 
that collects friends around it. I have taken a whiff from it — and my 
understanding fled. I drew so that the tube gurgled like a camel. Oh ! 
forgive me, thou Blotter out of sins ! that I smoke out of the cocoa-nut 
with its stem. 

Thwarted love is another favourite theme. One of these songs begins 
— ffdi, h6i, yd habibi! Hdi, h&i, kun tabibi! (come, come, oh beloved ! come 
and be my physician !). These songs also frequently describe the charms 
of the beloved object with great minuteness. 

Female Singers ['AwCdim , sing. 'Almeh or 'Alimeh ; i. e. 
'learned women') of a good class are now very rare, and those who 
still exist perform only in the harems of wealthy natives , so that 
the traveller will seldom or never have an opportunity of hearing 
them. Others of a low class are frequently seen in the streets ac- 
companied by one or two musicians, who are generally blind. 

The Female Dancers, or caste of the Ohmudzi (sing. OhaziyeK), 
which is quite distinct from that of the 'Awalim, were formerly one 
of the chief curiosities of Egypt, but for some years past they have 
been prohibited from performing in the streets. Really good dancers 
are said to be now rare, but on the Nile voyage the traveller will have 

f These syllables represent the coughing caused by the great quantity 
of smoke inhaled by the hashish smoker at intervals of V1-V2 hour, after 
which he gradually becomes intoxicated and insensible. 

tl The water-pipe out of which the hashish is smoked has generally 
a cocoa-nut (gozeh) as a receptacle for the water through which the smoke 

BATHS. 21 

an opportunity at Keneh, Luksor, and Esneh of seeing very curious 
and elaborate, though to his taste often ungraceful performances. 
Most of the dancers congregate at the fair of Tanta (p. 226), but 
the most skilful decline to exhibit unless paid with gold. The 
Hawal, or men in female attire, who frequently dance at festivities 
instead of the Ghawazi, present a most repulsive appearance. 

The Snake Charmers (Bifa'iyeh, sing. Rifa'i), who form an- 
other distinct caste , exhibit performances of a very marvellous 
character, as credible European residents in Cairo have testified ; 
but the traveller will rarely come in contact with them. The ordinary 
exhibition of dancing snakes may, however, occasionally be seen 
in the Ezbekiyeh. The boys who exhibit small snakes at the hotels 
must of course not be confounded with the Rifa'iyeh. 

The Jugglers (Hdwi) of Egypt are similar to those of other 
countries. The performances of the Buffoons (KurHdati or Mohab- 
bazi), which are chiefly intended for the amusement of the young, 
are disgracefully indelicate. 

(13). Baths. 

The baths of Egypt, with their hot-air chambers, are those com- 
monly known as Turkish, but they are neither so clean nor so well 
fitted up as some of those in the larger cities of Europe. 

The J3.ara.ra (see Plan), as well as the Maghtas and Hanafiyeh, 
have flat ceilings in which are openings covered with stained 
glass. The maghtas and the Hanafiyeh each contain marble basins 
for washing , provided with taps for warm water ; the maghtas 
contain besides a bath sunk in the pavement. Cold water is brought 
in ewers. The harara, or general bath-chamber, is less heated than 
the separate rooms, and is filled with steam. All the chambers 
are paved with marble slabs and heated by flues under the pavement 
and behind the walls. 

"When a cloth is hung up at the entrance to the baths, it indi- 
cates that women only are admitted. The baths are always cleanest 
in the early morning. Fridays are to be avoided, as numerous Muslims 
bathe early on that day, which is their Sabbath. 

The visitor first enters a large vaulted chamber covered with a 
cupola (hosh el-hammam) , having a fountain of cold water in the 
centre (faskiyeh), and the bathing towels hung around on strings, 
these last being swung into their places or taken down with bamboo 
rods according to requirement. Having taken off his shoes and 
given them to the attendant, the visitor is next conducted to one 
of the raised divans which are still unoccupied, where he proceeds 
to undress. Valuables may, if desired, be entrusted to the bath 
owner. Wrapping a cloth round his loins, he leaves his divan, is 
provided with pattens or wooden shoes (kabkab), and is conducted 
to the hot room (harara) in the interior of the establishment. Near 



one of the basins here a linen cloth is spread for the bather, and he 
is now left to perspire. As soon as the skin is thoroughly moist, he 
calls for the attendant (comp. Arabic vocabulary, p. 198), who 
pulls and kneads the joints till they crack, a process to which Eu- 
ropeans are not generally subjected. This is followed by the pleas- 
anter operation of shampooing, which is performed by the ubu kh or 
abu sdbun, who is requested to do his duty with the word 'keyyisni' 
(rub me), and who then rubs the bather with the kis, a rough 
piece of felt. The attendant next thoroughly soaps the bather, and 
concludes the operations by pouring bowls of warm water over his 

1. Entrance. 2. H6sh el-hammdm (a kind of antechamber, used also by the 
poorer classes as a dressing-room). 3. Faskiyeh (fountain). 4. Li wan (better 
dressing-rooms, generally consisting of two divisions). 5. Coffee-seller. 

6. Bet-el-awwel (warmed dressing-room for cold weather). 8. Latrines. 

7. Entrance to the — 9. Harara (or 'sudatorium'). 10. Liwdn. 11. Magh- 
tas (cabinets with basins). 12. Banafiyeh (chambers with basins and taps 

for hot water). 13. Furnaces. 14. Boilers. 

head. If the water is too hot the bather may ask for cold ('■hat 
moyeh barideh'), or say 'enough' (bes). After this process douches of 
hot or cold water may be indulged in according to inclination, but 
the most refreshing plan is to change the temperature gradually 
from hot to cold, the direction to the attendant being 'moyeh barideh!' 
When desirous of leaving the hot room , the bather says to the at- 
tendant 'hat fUta' (bring a towel), whereupon he is provided with 
one for his loins, another for his shoulders, and a third for his head. 
The slippers or pattens are then put on, and the antechamber re- 
entered. When the kabkabs are removed, cold water is sprinkled 
over the feet, fresh towels are then provided, and the bather at last 
throws himself down on his divan, wonderfully refreshed, yet glad 


to enjoy perfect repose for a short time. This interval of tranquil 
enjoyment is the favourite Oriental 'fee/ 1 ' (i. e. luxurious idleness). 
Every hath contains a coffee and pipe establishment. Coffee and 
hot eau sucree are the favourite beverages. Before dressing, the 
bather is generally provided with two or three more relays of fresh 
towels, and thus the proceedings terminate. The whole of these 
operations need not occupy much more than an hour, but Orientals 
often devote a whole morning to the bath. — Many of the baths 
are charitable foundations, where the natives pay little or nothing. 
Europeans are generally expected to pay 8 piastres or more (includ- 
ing coffee and nargileh), and a fee of about 1 p. is given to the 
'soap man'. — A Turkish bath is particularly refreshing after a long 
journey, and is an admirable preventive of colds and rheumatism, 
but if too often repeated sometimes occasions boils. 

'The women who can afford to do so visit the hammam frequently ; 
but not so often as the men. When the bath is not hired for the fe- 
males of one family, or for one party of ladies exclusively, women of all 
conditions are admitted. In general all the females of a house, and the 
young boys, go together. They take with them their own seggadehs, and 
the napkins, basins, etc., which they require, and even the necessary 
quantity of sweet water for washing with soap, and for drinking •, and 
some carry with them fruits, sweetmeats, and other refreshments. A lady 
of wealth is also often accompanied by her own belldneh or ma$h''tah, 
who is the washer and tire-woman. Many women of the lower orders 
wear no covering whatever in the bath , not even a napkin round the 
waist ; others always wear the napkin and the high clogs. There are 
few pleasures in which the women of Egypt delight so much as in the 
visit to the bath, where they frequently have entertainments; and often, 
on these occasions, they are not a little noisy in their mirth. They avail 
themselves of the opportunity to display their jewels and their finest 
clothes, and to enter into familiar conversation with those whom they 
meet there, whether friends or strangers. Sometimes a mother chooses 
a bride for her son from among the girls or women whom she chances 
to see in the bath. On many occasions, as, for instance, in the case of 
preparations for a marriage, the bath is hired for a select party, con- 
sisting of the women of two or more families , and none else are ad- 
mitted ; but it is more common for a lady and a few friends to hire a 
Khilweh : this is the name they give to the apartment of the hanafiyeh. 
There is more confusion among a mixed company of various ranks ; but 
where all are friends, the younger girls indulge in more mirth and 
frolic. They spend an hour or more under the hands of the bellaneh, 
who rubs and washes them, plaits their hair, applies the depilatory, 
etc. They then retire to the beyt-owwal or meslakh, and there, having 
put on part of their dress, or a large loose shirt, partake of various re- 
freshments, which, if they have brought none with them, they may pro- 
cure by sending an attendant of the bath to the market. Those who 
smoke take their own pipes with them. On particular occasions of fes- 
tivity, they are entertained with the songs of two or more 'Al'mehs, hired 
to accompany them to the bath.' — Lane. 

(14). Bazaars. 

Shops in the East, which are frequently connected with the 

workshops where the wares are made, are generally congregated 

together according to handicrafts in a certain quarter of the town, 

or in a certain street or lane. They are named after the respective 


trades, such as l Suk en-Nahhdsin (market of the copper-smiths"), 
'Gohargiyeh' (of the jewellers), KhurdagiyeK (of the ironmongers), 
Kassabiri (of the butchers), and sometimes after a neighbouring 
mosque. These bazaars are generally crowded with customers and 
idlers , and afford the traveller an excellent opportunity of ob- 
serving Oriental manners. In all the larger towns and villages 
there are extensive Khans, or depots of the goods of the wholesale 
merchants, who however often sell by retail to strangers. 

The shop (dukkan) is a recess, quite open to the street, and 
generally about 6 ft. in width, the floor being on a level with the 
mastaba, or seat in front, on which the owner smokes his pipe, 
retails his goods, chats with his friends, and performs his devotions. 
The inscriptions over many of the shops do not announce the name 
or business of the occupant, but consist of pious phrases, such as 
'0 Allah ! thou who openest the gates of profit !' '0 Allah ! thou 
who helpest us in want !' 'Aid from Allah, and rapid victory !' 
These and similar ejaculations are invariably repeated by the shop- 
keeper as he takes down his shutters in the morning. When he 
leaves the shop he either hangs a net in front of it, or begs a neigh- 
bour to keep guard over it. The intending purchaser seats himself 
on the mastaba, and after the customary salutations proceeds to 
mention his wishes. Unless the purchaser is prepared to pay what- 
ever is asked, he will find that the conclusion of a satisfactory 
bargain involves a prodigious waste of time and patience. 

As a rule, a much higher price is demanded than will ulti- 
mately be accepted , and bargaining is therefore the universal 
custom. If the purchaser knows the proper price of the goods be- 
forehand, he offers it to the seller, who will probably remark 'kalW 
(it is little), but will nevertheless sell the goods. The seller some- 
times entertains the purchaser with coffee from a neighbouring 
coffee-shop in order to facilitate the progress of the negotiations. 
If the shopkeeper persists in asking too high a price, the purchaser 
withdraws, but is often called back and at last offered the article 
at a reasonable price. A favourite expression with Oriental shop- 
keepers is 'khudu bal&sti (take it for nothing), which is of course 
no more meant to be taken literally than the well known 'teti betak' 1 
(my house is thy house). When in the course of the bargaining the 
purchaser increases his offer in order to make a concession , he 
generally uses the expression 'min shanak' (for thy sake). 

Nothing raises the traveller so much in the estimation of Orien- 
tals as firmness in resisting imposition ; but even the most wary 
and experienced must be prepared to pay somewhat higher prices 
for everything than the natives themselves. The various prices 
mentioned in the Handbook will give the traveller a fair idea of 
what may be justly demanded, and will prove a safeguard against 
any serious extortion. 

The dragomans and valets-de-place are always in league with 


the shopkeepers, from whom they receive 10-20 per cent on all ar- 
ticles purchased by travellers under their guidance. 

Travellers are cautioned against purchasing antiquities, their 
exportation being moreover strictly prohibited (p. 6). Spurious 
'antiquities' (particularly scarabaei) are largely manufactured both 
in Egypt and Syria, and the name is unhesitatingly applied 
to everything in the seller's possession, especially in Upper Egypt, 
if he sees that the traveller is disposed to make purchases of the 
kind. Remains of mummies are frequently offered for sale in the 
neighbourhood of all the ancient burial-places. 

Both at Alexandria and Cairo there are goods-agents (pp. 206, 
235), who will undertake the transmission of all purchases to the 
traveller's home at moderate cost. Their services are especially re- 
commended if the traveller intends making a tour through the con- 
tinent of Europe on his return from Egypt, in which case every 
new article, or object not intended for personal use, is liable to 
duty at half-a-dozen different frontiers. 

(15). Intercourse with Orientals. 

Orientals reproach Europeans with doing everything the wrong 
way, such as writing from left to right, while they do the reverse, 
and uncovering the head on entering a room, while they remove 
their shoes, but keep their heads covered. 

The following rules should be observed in paying a visit at an 
Oriental house. The visitor knocks at the door with the iron knocker 
attached to it, whereupon the question ^mirH (who is there?) is 
usually asked from within. The visitor answers, i iftaK (open). In 
the case of Muslim houses the visitor has to wait outside for a few 
minutes in order to give the women who happen to be in the court 
time to retire. He is then conducted into the reception-room, where 
a low divan or sofa runs round three sides of the Toom, the place 
of honour always being exactly opposite the door. According to the 
greater or less degree of respect which the host desires to show for 
his guest he rises more or less from his seat, and approaches one 
or more steps towards him. The first enquiries are concerning 
the health (see p. 199) ; the salutation 'Salam aleikum' is re- 
served for Muslims. The transaction of business in the East always 
involves a prodigious waste of time, and as Orientals attach no 
value whatever to their time, the European will often find his pa- 
tience sorely tried. If a visitor drops in and interrupts the business, 
it would be an unpardonable affront to dismiss him on the plea of 
being engaged. Again, when a visitor is announced at meal-time, 
it is de rigueur to invite him, at least as a matter of form, to partake. 
At all other hours of the day visitors are supplied with coffee, 
which a servant, with his left hand on his heart, presents to each 
according to his rank. Under the coffee-cup (fingdnj there is 


generally a zarf, or kind of saucer of egg-cup shape. To be passed 
over when coffee is handed round is deemed by the Beduins an 
insult of the gravest kind. Having emptied his cup, the visitor 
must not put it down on the ground, which is contrary to etiquette, 
hut keep it in his hand until it is taken from him by the servant, 
after which he salutes his host in the usual Oriental fashion by 
placing his right haudt on his breast and afterwards raising it to his 
forehead, and pronouncing the word 'ddiman 1 (i.e. 'kahweh 
daiman', may you never want coffee). This custom originated 
with the Beduins, who only regard the persons of their guests as 
inviolable after they have eaten or drunk with them. When vi- 
sited by natives, the European should in his turn regale them 
liberally with coffee. It is also usual to offer tobacco to the visitor, 
the cigarette being now the ordinary form. The long pipe (shibuk) 
with amber mouth-piece, and its bowl resting on a brazen plate on 
the ground, is more in vogue with the Turks. Visits in the East 
must of course be returned as in Europe. Those who return to a 
place after an absence receive visits from their acquaintances before 
they are expected to call on them. 

Europeans, as a rule, should never enquire after the wives of a 
Muslim, his relations to the fair sex being sedulously veiled from 
the public. Even looking at women in the street or in a house is 
considered indecorous, and may in some cases be attended with 
danger. Intimate acquaintance with Orientals is also to be avoided, 
disinterested friendship being still rarer in the East than elsewhere. 
Beneath the interminable protestations of friendship with which the 
traveller is overwhelmed, lurks in most cases the demon of cupidity, 
the sole motive of those who use them being the hope of some 
gain or bakshish. The best way of dealing with persons who 'do 
protest too much' is to pay for every service or civility on the spot, 
and as far as possible to fix the price of every article beforehand, a 
plan which is usually effectual in limiting their mercenary designs. 

On the other hand the most ordinary observer cannot fail to be 
struck with the fact that the degraded ruffianism so common in the 
most civilised countries is unknown in Egypt. The people of the 
country, even the poorest and the entirely uneducated, often possess 
a native dignity, self-respect, and gracefulness of manner, of which 
the traveller's own countrymen of a far more favoured class are 
sometimes utterly destitute. Notwithstanding their individual sel- 
fishness, too, the different native communities will be observed to 
hold together with remarkable faithfulness, and the bond of a 
common religion, which takes the place of 'party' in other coun- 
tries, and requires its adherents to address each other as l ya 
akhtiya 1 (my brother), is far more than a mere name. 

t The right hand is alone used in greeting and as much as possible 
in eating, stroking the heard, and the like, the left hand being reserved 
for less honourable functions. 


While much caution and firmness are desirable in dealing with 
the people, it need hardly be added that the traveller should avoid 
being too exacting or suspicious. He should bear in mind that 
many of the natives with whom he comes in contact are mere 
children, whose waywardness should excite compassion rather than 
anger, and who often display a touching simplicity and kindliness 
of disposition. He should, moreover, do his utmost to sustain the 
well established reputation of the 'kilmeh frengtyeh\ the 'word of a 
Frank', in which Orientals are wont to place implicit confidence. 

(16). Tobacco. 

Cigar-smokers will find it very difficult to become accustomed 
to the Oriental tobacco, but they will find tolerable cigar-shops at 
Alexandria and Cairo, most of which have been established quite 
recently. As a general rule smokers are recommended to carry with 
them, both in going to and returning from Egypt, as little tobacco 
as possible, especially if they travel by the overland route, as a 
rigorous search is often made and a heavy duty exacted, both at 
the Egyptian, and at the French, Austrian, and Italian frontiers. 
Travellers returning to England direct, with their luggage booked 
through, are allowed half-a-pound of tobacco or cigars free of Eng- 
lish duty, or they may bring three pounds on payment of the duty 
(5s. per lb.) and a small fine. 

Tobacco (dukhdn) is kept in good condition by covering it with 
a moist cloth, with which, however, it must not come in contact. 
Strong (hami) or mild (barid) may be asked for according to taste. 
Stambuli is a long and fine cut tobacco, the best qualities of which 
(40-60 ft. per okka = 2 lbs. liy 2 oz.) come from Roumelia and Ana- 
tolia, and the inferior from the Greek islands. The Syrian tobacco 
(15-20 ft. per okka), which is cut less regularly, and contains parts 
of the stalk, is considered less drying to the palate than the Tur- 
kish. It is of two kinds, the kurdni, or light-brown, and the gebeli, 
or dark-brown, a mixture of which may be used. The latter, which 
derives its colour from being dried in the smoke of resinous woods, 
is known in Europe as 'Latakia', from the region of N. Syria where 
it is chiefly grown (Ladikiyeh), but that name is not applied to it 
in the East. The native Egyptian tobacco (dukhdn beledi, or akhdar, 
green tobacco) is of very inferior quality (about 15 piastres tariff 
per okka). The natives often gather the leaves from the plant, 
dry them in the sun, rub them to pieces, and smoke them quite 
fresh. Tumbdk, or Persian tobacco, is used in a moistened con- 
dition in the long nargilehs or water-pipes only, and is lighted with 
a particular kind of charcoal. The smoke of these pipes is drawn 
into the lungs. 

The stems of these pipes, with their decorations, and the bowls 
alone are of native manufacture. The reservoirs and the amber 
mouth-pieces are imported from Europe, chiefly from Bohemia. 


(17). Post and Telegraph Offices. 

The Egyptian Postal System is admirably organised in all the 
principal towns, and now also in many smaller ones. The officials, 
who are very civil, are often Italians. The addresses of letters des- 
tined for Egypt should always be written very distinctly (particularly 
the initial letters), and they had better be directed to the hotel at 
which the traveller intends to stay, or to the consulate. Registered 
letters are not delivered to the person whose address they bear 
unless he gets a resident to testify to his identity. The forwarding 
of letters up the Nile or elsewhere in the interior may be entrusted 
to the landlord of the hotel. The General Post Office for the whole 
of Egypt is at Alexandria. Postage-stamps, bearing a sphinx and 
a pyramid, are issued at 5, 10 and 20 paras, and at 1, 2, 2'/2 an d 
5 tariff piastres. There are letter-boxes in the streets and at the 
hotels of the principal towns. Egypt is now a member of the Postal 
Union, and the postage for letters within Egypt and to other coun- 
tries in the union is 1 piastre tariff for every 50 grammes (IV2 oz.), 
and for book-packets 10 paras for the same weight. Post-cards cost 
20 paras. Parcels not exceeding 6^2 lbs. in weight may be sent to 
the countries of the union for 11 piastres tariff. Post-office orders, 
see p. 3. 

The Egyptian Telegraph System, the various lines of which 
are about 3750 English miles in length, extends northwards as far 
as Palestine, and southwards along the Nile to Khartum, a town at 
the confluence of the Blue and White Nile, whence a line diverges 
to Kassala, and another by Kordofan to Dar-Fur (comp. Map, 
p. 30). All the larger towns in the Delta have telegraph-offices, 
and even the Fayum is included in the system. Telegrams to Ale- 
xandria, Cairo, Isma'iliya, Port Sa'id, and Suez may be sent in 
English, French, or Italian, but Arabic must be used for messages 
to all the smaller stations. Within Egypt the Egyptian telegraph 
must be used (5 piastres tariff per 10 words), but telegrams to 
Europe should be sent by the English wires, via Malta, and cer- 
tainly not by the Egyptian, via Constantinople, a provokingly di- 
latory route. The following is the tariff of the English telegraph : 
each word (not exceeding ten letters ; if longer, it is reckoned as 
two words) to Austria, France, or Germany Is. 8d. ; to London Is. 
lOd. ; to other parts of Great Britain Is. lid. ; to Italy Is. 5d.; to 
America 2s. 2d. 

(18). Weights and Measures. 
1 Dirhem = 3. 93 grammes = 60. @5 grains troy ; 1 rotl = 445. 46 
grammes = 1. 0131 lbs. avoirdupois (about lib. V 5 oz.); 1 okka = 
1.237 kilogrammes = 2.7274 lbs. (about 2 lbs. ll^oz.); 1 kantar = 
100 rotl = 44. 546 kilogrammes = 101. 31 lbs. (about 101 lbs. 5oz.). 
The usual weight of a bale of wool in Egypt is about 282 kilo- 
grammes, or 5^2 cwt. 


1 RuVa = 3.75 litres = 6*/2 pints; 1 webeh = 30 litres = 
6 gals. 2% qts.; 1 aTdeb = 7 webeh = 210 litres = 46 gals. l 3 / 5 qt. 

1 Pik = 0.57 metre = 26.37 inches ; 1 pik, land measurement, 
= 29.527 (about 2972) inches; 1 kassaba = 3. 55 metres = 11 ft. 
7. 763 (about 11 ft. 73/4] inches. 

1 Feddan = 4200 square metres = about 5082 sq. yds. = 
IV20 acie - 

II. Geographical and Political Notice. 

By Dr. Sehwein/urth of Cairo. 
Boundaries and Area (comp. Map, p. 30). The countries sub- 
ject to the supremacy of the Khedive embrace by far the greater 
part of N.E. Africa, or nearly the whole of the territory adjacent to 
the Nile. The natural boundaries of the vassal kingdom founded 
by Mohammed 'Ali and bequeathed by him to his successor in 1848 
are formed by the Mediterranean Sea on the N. , the Libyan Desert 
on the W. , the Red Sea on the E., and Abyssinia, which may be 
called the Quito of Africa, on the S.E. These boundaries include 
Egypt Proper, with the five oases of the Libyan desert and part of 
the peninsula of Sinai, the Nubian Valley of the Nile, with the 
Nubian desert regions , and lastly the so-called Egyptian Sudan, 
which consists of the districts of Tdka, Sennar, and Kordofan. The 
Khedive Isma'il, whose dominions were secured to him as a fief 
hereditary in the male line, extended his boundaries still farther to 
the S., S.E., and S.W. Thus he purchased Sauakin and Masau'a on 
the Red Sea, and Zela' and Berbera on the Gulf of 'Aden, four im- 
portant seaports and commercial places, together with the coast 
districts adjoining them, which formerly belonged directly to the 
Turkish government ; and in the same way he acquired part of the 
coast of the Somali, extending to the equator, a district replete 
with still untouched natural treasures. The districts of the Bogos 
and Oalabat on the frontiers of Abyssinia have been occupied with 
a view to protect important commercial routes, and together with the 
Somali territory ofHarar have been annexed to the Egyptian empire. 
Dar-Fur, once an entirely independent principality in the Moham- 
medan Sudan, and the terror of its neighbours, has lately been con- 
quered by the Egyptians, and the empire of the Khedive has thus 
been increased by four very populous provinces, while Mohammed 
r Ali, who was less fortunate in his designs on that region, succeeded 
in gaining possession of Kordofan only, the E. part of it. Bogos, 
Galabat, and the other provinces adjoining the N. frontier of Abys- 
sinia are, however, constantly exposed to the inroads of their war- 
like neighbours, and it will probably be impossible in the long run to 
resist the importunate demand of the Abyssinian monarch for their 
restitution. The rebellion which broke out in most of the Mahom- 
medan provinces of the Egyptian Sudan in 1883 threatens to entail 
the entire loss of Ismail's acquisitions to the S. of Egypt proper. 


The boundaries of Egypt in a due S. direct * on J^U^oTrse 
boldly extended by Isma'il. They now comprise the « ^ 

of the W/Hie Nile and the greater part °f tlie .Lfl already for 
Balyr el-Ghazai, where merchants ^m Kh«Jum had^rea dy for 

many years possessed settlements ^^J^^li's death the S. 

dued the negro tribes. At the time of Mo^«g A formed 

boundary of the Egyptian dominions on the wmte i 

by the corn-magazines of H-'&ft and the wharves "«« J*> B1 *^ 

aLut IS" N ^43, while it ^^^ aM the SSl 

of i^amr-a (on the river connecting the vwiorid 

Nyanza) ; seated >™™^ZT^t^&£ 

^^Tj^^T^T^mX -w almost entirely 

S ^ow^lS^^ 

daries was, nominally at least, immediately subject to the Khedive 
though but sparsely occupied by his comparative y ^1 ^ and 
it contained no tributary peoples mediately subject to him. The e 
enormous tracts, on the other hand, are utterly disproportionate to 
the population, the desert regions are immeasurably more extensive 
than the fertile districts, and the barbarous and unprofitable in- 
habitants far more numerous than the civilised and wealth-pro- 
ducing The geographer and the political economist therefore would 
vary widely in their description of the real boundaries of the 
country. The country which (until the most recent events) owned 
no other master than the Khedive or his representatives is of im- 
mense extent, but the cultivable part of Egypt, which forms the 
sole source of its wealth, is of very limited area. The extensive 
dominions of the Khedive which lie to the S. of Egypt proper are 
still entirely profitless, and hence it was that Isma'il did his utmost 
to extend the commerce in thi3 direction, and to improve the means 
of communication. 

Thus while Egypt is nominally as extensive as two-thirds of 
Russia in Europe, it shrinks to the size of Belgium when the Val- 
ley of the Nile, its only productive part, inhabited by a tax-paying 
population, is alone taken into consideration. The total area of the 
empire is fully one and a quarter million square miles, including 
that part of the Libyan Desert which falls within the western 
boundary drawn from the oasis of Siwa to the west end of Dar- 
Fur, and which alone measures 525,000 sq. M. in extent. On the 
other hand Egypt proper, extending towards the desert so far only 
as it is irrigated by the fertilising Nile, the 'Bilad Mask' (the Misraim 
of the Bible), though 550 M. in length, is the narrowest country in 
the world. The area of this cultivable tract, which has remained 
unaltered since the remotest antiquity, is about 11,342 sq. M. only 
for 21 sq. M. less than Belgium), excluding Wadi Haifa and the other 
districts above Assuan. In 1882 AmiciBey calculated the e „ti re in- 


habited area of Egypt, excluding the deserts, as 12,830 sq.M. and the 
area actually under cultivation as 9460 sq. M. The alluvial soil of 
the Nile Valley, in contradistinction to the desert, known among the 
natives by the Arabic word 'Er-Rlf, begins at Khartum, at the con- 
fluence of the White and the Blue Nile. Following the wide curve 
described by the Nile through Nubia, the length of the valley as 
far as the first cataracts is 989 M., but as the space between the 
river and its rocky banks is very limited, and the irrigation system 
is imperfectly developed, the cultivable area in this part of the 
valley is only about 1050 sq. M. The Nubian portion of the alluvial 
soil of the Nile is thus very insignificant ; and when the ancient 
oracle described Egypt as the country watered by the Nile, and the 
Egyptians as the people who quenched their thirst with its water, 
the river below the first cataract must obviously have been meant. 

Divisions and Administration. The ancient prehistoric Egyp- 
tians were at first subdivided into numerous tribes, who formed 
a number of distinct small and independent states , with their 
own laws and their peculiar tutelary gods. These states were 
afterwards gradually united into the two large principalities of 
Lower Egypt or the Northern Country ( To Mera, or To Meh), and 
Upper Egypt or the Southern Country (To Res, or To Kema). At 
a later period these two larger states, united under one sceptre, 
formed the empire of the Pharaohs, or the land of Kemi. The 
smaller states then constituted provinces or nomes (Egyptian hesoph; 
Greek nomoi). The ancient Egyptians divided each nome into four 
principal parts : — (1) The capital (Nut), the religious and admin- 
istrative centre of the province; (2) The cultivated land (L'n), 
subject to the annual inundation; (3) The marshy land which re- 
mained in a moist condition after the inundation; (4) The district 
traversed by canals conducted out of the Nile. The civil and mili- 
tary administration of the nome was presided over either by here- 
ditary governors (hik), or by nomarchs (mer-nat-V at-to ) appointed 
by the king. Under the Ptolemies these governors were called stra- 
tegoi (nomu) or nomarchoi, and over a group of these presided an epi- 
strategos. The chief authority in religious matters was the high priest 
of the temple, whose appointment was sometimes hereditary and 
sometimes elective ; and his staff consisted of a prophet, a temple- 
scribe, a stolistes or custodian of the vestments, and an astrologer. 

The number of the nomes varied at different periods. Most of 
the classical authors (thus Diodorus, liv. 3 ; Strabo, xxviii. 1, 3) 
enumerate thirty-six. The Egyptian lists, such as that of Edfu, 
mention forty-four, half of them being in Upper and half in Lower 
Egypt (but two of those in Upper Egypt and three in Lower Egypt 
are counted twice). The Greeks and Romans sometimes divided 
Egypt into three parts — Upper, Central, and Lower Egypt, or the 
Thebais, Heptanomis, and Delta. 

The following is a list of the ancient Egyptian nomes : — 








Egyptian 1 Greek 





ABU (Elephan- 
tine - Geziret- 

OMBUS (Egypt. 






TEB (Copt. Atbo) 













(an res an munt) 

Diospolis magna 







QEFTI (Copt. 




? EMSUH ? 


RER (Ta Nutei ; 
Copt. Pi Tent- 












TIN (Teni), after- 
wards AB-TU 

TIS (Tinis), 






(Copt. Khmin, 












(Copt! Sh6tp) 






SIAUT(Copt. Siut) 




















Northern part of 

' Tuho) 













PA MAZA (Copt. 





Egyptian I Greek 


Egyptian Greek 










(Copt. Hnes) 























A A 






















. . . ABOT 


PI-TUM (Sckot) 





















































'3 Egypt I. 2nd E 



34 GEOGRAPHICAL NOTICE. Administration. 

Lower and Upper Egypt (the latter known as Sa'icT) are now 
each divided into seven Provinces or Mudtrtyeh. Those of Upper 
Egypt are : (1) Kalyub, at the head of the Delta ; (2) Sharklyeh, 
i.e. 'the eastern', with Zakazik as its capital; (3) Dakahltyeh, 
with Mansura as its capital; (4) Menuf; (5) Oharbiyeh, i.e. 
'the western', with Tanta as its capital; (6) Behereh, i.e. 'of 
the lake', with Damanhur as its capital ; (7) Glzeh, opposite to 
Cairo. The seven Upper Egyptian provinces are those of Beni-Suef, 
Minyeh, Siut, Girgeh, Keneh, Esneh, and Wadi Haifa. The seat 
of the mudir or governor of Girgeh has recently been transferred 
to the not far distant Suhag. The Fayum forms a mudiriyeh by 
itself. The following capitals and commercial towns are presided 
over by governors of their own, and are independent of the 
provincial administration : Cairo , Alexandria , Suez , Port Said, 
Damietta, Rosetta, Isma'iliya, and lastly the small seaport of Koser 
on the Red Sea. 

The administration of the Upper Egyptian provinces, and still 
more those of the Sudan , is liable to frequent change , several of 
them being sometimes united under a governor-general , and at 
other times again disjoined, or managed by a commission appointed 
by the minister of the interior. The recently acquired seaports on 
the Red Sea have governors (mudirs) of their own, and they in their 
turn are under the supervision of a governor-general (hokmddr) 
resident at Kassala. These last districts are (or were) known as 
the East Sudan, while the government of the West Sudan was cen- 
tralised at Khartum. Before the outbreak of the revolution the West 
Sudan consisted of the provinces of Khartum, Sennar, Bahr el-Abyad, 
Kordofan, four of Dar-Fur, and the provinces of Bahr-el-Ghazal 
and the Equator. The last two provinces include almost the whole 
region of the Upper White Nile and are inhabited solely by negro 
tribes. Khartum was the seat of a governor-general whose juris- 
diction extended over the whole of the provinces beyond the limits 
of Egypt in the narrower sense. Lastly, the Nubian part of the 
Valley of the Nile is divided into the provinces of Donkola and 
Berber, which are administered independently of each other, the 
capital of the former being El-'Ordeh, that of the latter El-Mekherif 
(or Berber). 

The chief official in every province is the Mudir, or governor, 
who is assisted by a council, or 'diwan', of other officers. This coun- 
cil consists of a WekU, or vice-governor ; a chief clerk, tax-gatherer, 
and accountant, who is always a Copt ; a Kadi, or supreme judge, 
and the chief authority in spiritual matters ; sometimesthe president 
of a chamber of commerce and chief authority in civil affairs ; a 
superintendent of police ; an architect for the supervision of canals 
and other public works ; and lastly the chief physician of the pro- 
vince. The sub-governors in the smaller towns, who are under the 
jurisdiction of the Mudir, are sometimes called Kdshif, or Ndzir 

Administration. GEOGRAPHICAL NOTICE. 35 

el-Kism. Subordinate to the nazir again is the Shtikh el-Beled, 
oi chief magistrate or mayor of the village, usually known simply as 
shekh (plur. shiukK). 

In the larger towns there is a magistrate of this kind in each 
quarter (at Cairo fifty- three), over whom are placed prefects of larger 
sections (shekh et-tumn). Over the whole of these presides the Mu- 
dir, and lastly over the latter in some cases a Hokmdar with very 
extensive poweTS. Other provinces again are governed by specially 
appointed inspectors, who occupy the highest rank in their respective 

If the administrative Teforms proposed by England actually come 
into effect, the duties of the provincial governors will be very ma- 
terially circumscribed. The police administration has been made 
a separate department, and Egypt has been divided into the three 
police districts of Cairo, Alexandria, and Upper Egypt, each under 
an inspector general. The administration of justice is to be com- 
mitted entirely to the native courts, while a special minister is to 
have the charge of canal-making and other public works. In order, 
however, to afford some idea of the importance of the Mudir in the 
public life of the provinces, we give here a short account of the 
functions he has hitherto had to perform. 

The Duties of the JIudIe were very multifarious. He presided over 
the administration, the finances, and the police of his province. He was 
required to watch over the public safety, to superintend public works, 
to regulate all sanitary matters, to register all transfers of property, 
contracts of sale, title-deeds, and mortgages, to pronounce judgment in 
all law-suits which do not fall exclusively within the jurisdiction of the 
spiritual court (the Mehkemeh) , and lastly to collect the taxes. The 
four chief taxes are as follows: (1) Land-tax (khardg), levied from the 
Arddi el-Miriyeh (see below; the Ab'ddiyeh pay ten per cent only, while 
the Shiflik is entirely exempt). It is levied monthly by the sarraf. A 
feddan of the best land in Lower Egypt pays about 25s. per annum, but 
medium and inferior land is taxed at a lower rate. A valuation is made 
annually, and the different estates and farms registered under one of 
these three classes. (2). Income-tax, paid by merchants, bazaar-keepers, 
and artizans (werko, i. e. the Turkish wergi, firdeh, or 'tax'), and varying 
from 4 to 20 per cent. (3). Market-tax (himl), levied according to a certain 
tariff on all produce brought to the markets, at a rate varying from 2 to 
9 per cent. This tax is now confined to the four largest towns. (4). Palm- 
tax, levied at the rate of 20 piastres per tree. 

Distribution of Land. Down to 1879 the Khedive and his family pos- 
sessed one million and a half feddans of landed property, or about one- 
fourth of cultivable Egypt; valued at forty million pounds sterling, 
and practically forming his private property. This land is officially 
called Shi/tik (or properly tshiftlik, the Turkish for 'estate', or 'farm'). 
Part of these vast estates came into the hands of the reigning monarch 
by the confiscation of the fiefs (iktd'a) held by the Mamelukes, who were 
exterminated by Mohammed 'Ali'on 11th March, 1811, and by the appro- 
priation of all family foundations (irsdd), estates belonging to mosques 
(aakf), and land which in consequence of the depopulation caused by the 
Mameluke regime had ceased to have any owner. The great bulk of the 
crown estates was, however, amassed during the 15 years' rule of Khedive 
Isma'il, who was not over-scrupulous as to the methods he employed in 
doing so. Shortly before his abdication he was forced to resign almost 
the entire estates of himself and his family to the board of domains ap- 
pointed by the international financial commission. 



Another kind of landed property is called Ab'ddiyeh, by which is 
meant the uncultivated land presented by the Khedive to suitable per- 
sons with full right of property on condition of its being reclaimed or 
cultivated. Estates of this kind pay no taxes for the first three years, after 
which 10 per cent on the value of the produce is levied ('ushr). The rest of 
the land is officially known as El-Arddi el-Miriyeh, i.e. government estates. 
Nearly the whole of the soil of Egypt is thus in the hands of government. 
The fellahin or peasants are merely tenants for life, or so long as they con- 
tinue to pay their ground-rent (khardg). According to the Koran, an estate 
on the death of the life-tenant reverts to the bet el-mdl, 'or government 
treasury, as the common property of all Muslims; but a humane law of 
1857 provides that it may be claimed by the next of kin of both sexes 
on payment of 24 tariff piastres per feddan for registration of the title. 
The trees planted by the life-tenant, and the buildings and irrigating 
apparatus erected by him, are his property, and pass to his heirs. The 
right of occupation, or usufruct, of these lands may also be sold, let, or 
mortgaged ; but the contract must be ratified by government in each case ; 
and where mortgaged lands are not redeemed within fifteen years, they 
continue in possession of the mortgagee and become his property. A 
piece of land may at any time be taken possession of by government for 
public purposes (railways, canals, embankments), in which case the oc- 
cupant receives another piece of land elsewhere as compensation. 

The ground-tax (khardg) is in some cases as high as 20 per cent. 
Instead of a certain tax being imposed on each village as formerly, the 
tax payable by each estate is now fixed by the Mudiriyeh or chief 
authorities of the province. To facilitate the collection of taxes, all 
landed estates are formed into groups, generally consisting of properties 
taxed at the same rate, and known in Lower Egypt as hdd, and in Upper 
Egypt as kabaleh. 

In certain poor districts where there was a difficulty in collecting 
the taxes in the reign of Mohammed 'Ali, payment was undertaken by 
a number of capitalists, who were empowered to recover them from the 
fellahin. This right, however, was not transferable, and it could be 
resumed by the government at any time. Groups of estates where this 
system still prevails are called 'uhdeh. 

Since 1822 several attempts have been made at a comprehensive scheme 
of land valuation , but none has been carried out for more than a few 
limited districts. In 1879, however, a land valuation office was established 
at Cairo in connection with the projected reforms in the land-tax. 

Population. The population of Egypt has heen ascertained to 
have been greater in ancient than in modern times ; for, disregard- 
ing the exaggerated calculation of Theocritus , based on a mere as- 
sumption, it appears to have numbered at least 7*/ 2 million souls in 
the time of Josephus and the Emperor Nero. This number is quite 
reasonable in itself, as it is estimated that the country could sup- 
port 8-9 million inhabitants. 

According to the enumeration made by Amici Bey in 1882 the 
present population of Egypt proper is 6,811,448, or about 600 per 
square mile , and is therefore denser than that of most European 
states. The thickest population is found in the province of Esneh, 
the thinnest in the Fayum and in Behereh. The sexes occur in al- 
most equal proportions. The number of houses enumerated in the 
same census is 1,090,000, distributed among 12,876 towns, vil- 
lages, and hamlets. The population of the provinces beyond the 
limits of Egypt proper, on the other hand, has never been ascer- 
tained by any regular census, and can therefore only be estimated 
in a conjectural way. The densest population is that of the pro- 


vince of Bahr el- Abyad , where in the case of the Shilluk tribe, 
numbering about one million souls, the proportion of inhabitants 
to the square mile is the same as in Egypt proper. The total po- 
pulation of the empire, including Dar-Fur and Harar, is now esti- 
mated at between 16 and 17 millions. 

Origin and Descent of the Egyptians. For thousands of years 
the banks of the Nile have been occupied by the Egyptians , the 
oldest nation known to history, and still exhibiting many of their 
ancient personal characteristics unaltered. Notwithstanding the in- 
terminable series of immigrations and other changes affecting the 
character of the inhabitants, the Egyptian type has always predom- 
inated with marvellous uniformity. As Egypt is said to be the 
'gift of the Nile', so has the character of its inhabitants been ap- 
parently moulded by the influences of that river. No country in 
the world is so dependent on a river which traverses it as Egypt, 
and no river presents physical characteristics so exceptional as the 
Nile ; so, too, there exists no race of people which possesses so 
marked and unchanging an individuality as the Egyptians. It is 
therefore most probable that this unvarying type is the product of 
the soil itself, and that the character of the peoples who settled at 
different periods on the bank of the Nile , whatever it may origin- 
ally have been , has in due course of time been moulded to the 
same constant form by the mysterious influences of the river. In 
all countries, indeed, national characteristics are justly regarded 
as the natural outcome of soil and climate , and of this connection 
no country affords so strong an illustration as Egypt, with its sharply 
defined boundaries of sea and desert , and in its complete isolation 
from the rest of the world. These considerations tend to throw 
serious doubts on all the current theories as to the origin of the 
Egyptians. According to the Bible, Mizraim (Misraim) was the son 
of Ham and brother of Canaan and the Ethiopian Cush ; and, as his 
name was applied by the Hebrews to Egypt, it is probable that he 
migrated with his sons from Asia to the banks of the Nile. The name, 
moreover, of Ludim, his eldest son, corresponds to the word Rotu, 
or Lotu , the hieroglyphic name for the Egyptians. Philologists, 
who have discovered points of resemblance in the roots and inflec- 
tions of the ancient Egyptian and the Semitic languages, likewise 
come to the conclusion that the Egyptians originally came from 
Asia, either by way of Suez, or across the Red Sea from Arabia. The 
ethnographer t , on the other hand, who observes that many of the 

t No inference can legitimately be drawn from the fact that the 
skulls of the ancient and modern Egyptians , which are very similar in 
form, have no affinity with those which are usually described as of the 
negro type, as our craniological collections are very incomplete, and our 
knowledge of the negro races imperfect. The fact is, that several negro 
races, such as the Nubians and the Shilluk , might be named, whose 
characteristics undoubtedly belong to the negro type, while their skulls 
are just as little prognathous as those of the Egyptians. 


domestic utensils employed by the ancient Egyptians , as well as 
many of their customs , are similar to those of the dwellers on 
the hanks of the Zambezi and Niger, but totally different from 
those seen on the banks of the Indus or Euphrates, will always 
maintain an opposite view. The considerations already mentioned, 
however , tend to show that the truth lies between these extremes. 
Even those who most strongly maintain the Asiatic origin of 
the Egyptians will probably admit that the immigrants found 
an aboriginal race already settled on the banks of the Nile, which 
in its persistent opposition to all foreign influences was doubtless 
similar to the race usually known as the Egyptian. "We start with 
the cardinal fact , that , although the country has been at various 
periods overrun by Hyksos, Ethiopians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, 
Romans , Arabs , and Turks , and although the people were tyran- 
nised over , ill-treated , and in most cases compelled to intermarry 
with these foreigners , the Egyptians have for thousands of years 
retained the same unvarying physical types , while their character 
has been but slightly modified by the introduction of Christianity 
and Mohammedanism. If it now be borne in mind that these 
foreigners generally invaded the country in the form of an army, 
that they formed but a small body compared with the bulk of the 
population , and that they either married native women or sought 
wives in other countries , it is obvious that they would either con- 
tinue to exist for a time as a foreign caste , a condition apparently 
repugnant to nature and necessarily transient , or that they would 
gradually succumb to the never-failing influences of the soil and 
be absorbed in the great mass of the aboriginal inhabitants. An 
excellent illustration of this process is afforded by the Arabian in- 
vasion , with the circumstances and results of which we are better 
acquainted than with the history of the other foreign immigrations ; 
for, disregarding the Beduin tribes, who are entirely distinct from 
the Egyptian population , we now find that the Arabian element 
has entirely disappeared , and we meet with genuine Arabs in the 
towns only , where the merchants , pilgrims , and other members of 
that people form a class entirely distinct from the natives , and 
where their existence is only maintained by means of reinforce- 
ments from abroad. Another proof of the transforming influences 
of the Egyptian climate is afforded by the uniform character of the 
domestic animals. The oxen , in particular (which , however , are 
gradually being replaced by the buffalo), though they have often 
been repeatedly exterminated in a single century by murrain , and 
have been succeeded by foreign races from every quarter of the 
globe, invariably after a few generations assume the well-known 
Egyptian type with which the representations on the ancient temples 
render us so familiar. 

The Modern Egyptians. The population of Egypt is composed 
of the following ten different elements. 


(1). The Fbllahin (aing. felldK), the 'tillers' or 'peasants', 
form the bulk of the population, and maybe regarded as the sinews 
of the national strength. They are generally slightly above the 
middle height ; their bones, and particularly their skulls, are strong 
and massive ; and their wrists and ankles are powerful and some- 
what clumsy. In all these respects the fellahin , as well as their 
domestic animals , contrast strongly with the inhabitants of the 
desert, the fellah and the Beduin differing from each other precisely 
in the same points as their respective camels. Notwithstanding this 
largeness of frame , however , the fellah never grows fat. The 
woman and girls are particularly remarkable for their slender build, 
and they often speak of each other as 'zei el-habl', or slender as a 
rope. The men generally keep their heads shaved , but the hair 
of the soldiers and the long tresses of the girls, though always black 
and often curly , is by no means of the short , woolly negro type. 

The chief peculiarity of the Egyptians is the remarkable close- 
ness of their eyelashes on both lids, forming a dense, double, black 
fringe , which gives so animated an expression to their almond- 
shaped eyes. The very ancient and still existing custom of blacken- 
ing the edges of the eyelids with antimony ('kohl'), which is said 
to serve a sanitary purpose, contributes to enhance this natural 
expression. The eyebrows are always straight and smooth , never 
bushy. The mouth is wide and thick-lipped , and very different 
from that of the Beduin or inhabitant of the oases. The high cheek- 
bones, the receding forehead, the lowness of the bridge of the nose, 
which is always distinctly separated from the forehead , and the 
flatness of the nose itself, are the chief characteristics of the 
Egyptian skull; but, as the jaws project less than those of most 
of the other African coloured races , it has been assumed that the 
skull is Asiatic, and not African in shape. The Egyptian peasantry 
have a much darker complexion than their compatriots in the towns, 
and their colour deepens as we proceed southwards , from the pale 
brown of the inhabitant of the Delta to the dark bronze hue of the 
Upper Egyptians. There is also a difference between the tint of the 
Nubians and that of the Upper Egyptians, even where they live in 
close contiguity , the former being more of a reddish-brown. 

The dwelling of the fellah is of a miserably poor description, 
consisting generally of four low walls formed of crude bricks of 
Nile mud, and thatched with a roof of dura straw, rush, rags, or old 
straw-mats. In the interior are a few mats, a sheep's skin, several 
baskets made of matting , a copper kettle , and a few earthenware 
pots and wooden dishes. Instead of using the crude bricks, the 
fellahin in Upper Egypt often form the walls of their huts of a 
mixture of mud and straw. The dark, windowless interior is en- 
tered by a small opening, in front of which the proprietor usually 
forms an enclosure of circular shape , with a wall of mud about 
5 ft. in height. This is the court-yard of the establishment, and the 


usual resort of the family and their domestic animals in summer. 
The -walls of the yard generally contain round hollows, used as re- 
ceptacles for the grain which forms the food of the family. Within 
the yard are usually placed a square pillar, about 5 ft. in height, 
with openings in its sides as receptacles for objects of value, and a 
thick column of the same height, terminating in a platform shaped 
like a plate, with the edges bent upwards, which is used by the 
proprietor as a sleeping-place in hot weather. The fact is, that 
beneath an Egyptian sky, houses are not of the same paramount 
importance as in more northern regions , all that is wanted being 
shelter for the night. 

The poorer peasant's mode of life is frugal in the extreme. 
The staple of his food consists of a peculiar kind of bread made of 
sorghum flour in Upper Egypt, or of maize in the Delta, wheaten 
bread being eaten by the wealthier only. This poor kind of bread 
often has a greenish colour , owing to an admixture of bean-flour 
(Foenum Gwecum). Next in importance in the bill of fare are broad 
beans (ful). For supper, however, even the poorest cause a hot 
repast to be prepared. This usually consists of a highly salted 
sauce made of onions and butter, or in the poorer houses of onions 
and linseed or sesame oil. Into this sauce , which in summer 
acquires a gelatinous consistency by the addition of the universal 
bamia (the capsular fruit of the Hibiscus) and various herbs , each 
member of the family dips pieces of bread held in the fingers. 
Both in town and country, goats', sheeps' , or buffaloes' milk also 
forms a daily article of food , but always in a sour condition or half 
converted into cheese , and in very moderate quantities only. In 
the height of summer the consumption of fruit of the cucumber 
and pumpkin species , which the land yields in abundance , is 
enormous. In the month of Ramadan alone , when a rigorous fast 
is observed during the day , and on the thTee days of the great 
Beiram festival (Korban Beiram), even the poorest members of the 
community indulge in meat, and it is customary to distribute that 
rare luxury to beggars at these seasons. 

The dress of the Egyptian peasant calls for little remark, espec- 
ially as he usually works in the fields divested of everything. The 
chief articles of his wardrobe at other times are an indigo-dyed cot- 
ton shirt (kamis), a pair of short and wide cotton breeches, a kind 
of cloak of brown, home-spun goats' wool (za'but, 'abayeh, or 'aba), 
or simply a blanket of sheep's wool (hirdm), and lastly a close- 
fitting felt skull-cap (libdeh). He is generally barefooted, but occa- 
sionally wears pointed red (zerbun), or broad yellow shoes (balgha). 
The shekhs and wealthier peasants, when they go to market wear 
wide, black woollen cloaks and the thick red 'Tunisian' fez (tarbush) 
with a blue silk tassel, round which they coil a white or red turban 
Cimmeh). In their hands they usually carry a long and thick stick 
(nabbut), made from the central stalk of the palm leaf. 


The agricultural population of Egypt does not exceed two million 
souls, an unnaturally low proportion when we consider the nature of 
the country. The sole wealth of Egypt is derived from its agriculture, 
and to the fellahin alone is committed the important task of tilling 
the soil. They are, indeed, neither fitted nor inclined for other work, 
a circumstance which proves how completely the stationary character 
of the ancient Egyptians has predominated over the restless Ara- 
bian blood, which has been largely infused into the native popula- 
tion ever since the valley of the Nile was conquered by the armies 
of El-Islam. The modern Egyptians, moreover, resemble the ancient 
in the lot to which they are condemned. In ancient times the 
fellah , pressed into the service of the priests and the princes, 
was compelled to yield up to them the fruits of his toil , and his 
position is nearly the same at the present day, save that the names 
of his masters are changed, and he has obtained some relief ow- 
ing to the almost entire abolition of compulsory work. 

In early life the Egyptian peasant is remarkably docile, active, 
and intelligent, but at a later period this freshness and buoyancy is 
crushed out of him by care and poverty and his never-ceasing task 
of filling the pitcher of the Dana'ides. He ploughs and reaps, toils 
and amasses , but he cannot with certainty regard his crops as his 
own, and the hardly earned piastre is too frequently wrested from 
him. His character, therefore, becomes like that of a gifted child, 
who has been harshly used and brought up to domestic slavery, but 
at length perceives that he has been treated with injustice, and 
whose amiability and intelligence are then superseded by sullenness 
and obstinacy. Thus, as in the time of Ammianus Marcellinus, the 
fellah will often suffer the most cruel blows in dogged silence rather 
than pay the taxes demanded of him. 

In his own fields the fellah is an industrious labourer, and his 
work is more continuous than that of the peasant of more northern 
countries. He enjoys no period of repose during the winter, and the 
whole of his spare time is occupied in drawing water for the irriga- 
tion of the land. Notwithstanding his hard lot, however, he is an 
entire stranger to any endeavour to better his condition or to im- 
prove his system of farming. As soon as he has accomplished the 
most necessary tasks he rests and smokes, and trusts that Allah will 
do the remainder of his work for him. 

The fellah is a believer in the religion of Mohammed, although 
he knows but little of the prophet's doctrines and history. Fol- 
lowers of all other religions he believes to be doomed to eternal per- 
dition ; but travellers are not on that account disliked by him. We 
serve rather to confirm his belief in eternal justice , for he is con- 
vinced that all the comforts and luxuries we now enjoy will be 
counterbalanced by torments hereafter. At the same time he admires 
and overrates our knowledge, which is so superior to his own. Every 
well-dressed European is in the estimation of the natives a prodigy 


of wisdom ; and , as their ideas of a scholar and a physician are 
identical , they place implicit reliance on our ability to heal the 
sick and to save the dying. The traveller who comes in contact 
with the fellahin will often he applied to for medicine, and will 
often find drugs more effective than money in securing their good will. 

(2). Copts (kiibt, iibt). "While we have regarded the fellahin as 
genuine Egyptians in consequence of their uninterrupted occupation 
of the soil, the religion of the Copts affords us an additional guarantee 
for the purity of their descent. The Copts are undoubtedly the most 
direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians, there being no ground 
for the assumption that their ancestors were foreign immigrants who 
embraced Christianity after the conquest of the country by the 
Mohammedans, while on the other hand the obstinacy with which 
they defended their monophysite Christianity for several centuries 
against the inroads of the creed of Byzantium affords another 
indication of their Egyptian character. The Coptic population is 
officially stated as 250,000, but these figures are obviously too low, 
and the number is more probably about 400,000, i.e. about a fifth 
of the purely indigenous population of the valley of the Nile, t They 
are most numerous in the towns of Northern Egypt, around the 
ancient Coptos, at Negada, Luksor, Esneh, Dendera, Girgeh, Tahta, 
and particularly at Siut and Akhmim. A large proportion of the 
population of all these places is Coptic. 

The Coptic Patriarch is elected from their own number by the monks 
of the five chief monasteries of Egypt. These are the monasteries of St. 
Anthony and St. Paul in the western desert, the two in the valley of the 
Natron Lakes, and the large convent of Marrag, near Monfalut. 

Most of the Copts are dwellers in towns, and are chiefly engaged in 
the more refined handicrafts (as watchmakers, goldsmiths, jewellers, 
embroiderers, tailors, weavers, manufacturers of spurious antiquities, 
etc.), or in trade, or as clerks, accountants, and notaries. Their 
physique is accordingly materially different from that of the fella- 
hin. They are generally somewhat below the middle height, and of 
delicate frame, with small hands and feet ; their skulls are higher 
and narrower than those of the peasantry, and with less protruding 
cheek-bones ; and, lastly, their complexion is fairer. These dif- 
ferences are sufficiently accounted for by their mode of life ; for, 
when we compare those Copts who are engaged in rustic pursuits, 
or the Coptic camel drivers of Upper Egypt, with the fellahin, we 
find that the two races are not distinguishable from each other. The 
two distinct types have also been recognized in the skeletons of the 
ancient mummies. 

Few nations in the East embraced the Gospel more zealously 
than the dwellers on the Nile. Accustomed as they had long been 
to regard life as a pilgrimage to death, as a school of preparation for 

t The total number of Christians in Egypt, including Europeans, Ar- 
menians, and Syrians, is about 600,000, or one tenth of the entire popu- 


another world, and weary of their motley and confused Pantheon 
of divinities , whose self-seeking priesthood designedly disguised 
the truth, they eagerly welcomed the simple doctrines of Christianity, 
which appeared so well adapted to their condition and promised 
them succour and redemption. Like Eutyches, they revered the 
divine nature of the Saviour only, in which they held that every 
human element was absorbed ; and when the Council of Chalcedon 
in 451 sanctioned the doctrine that Christ combined a human with 
a divine nature, the Egyptians, with their characteristic tenacity 
adhered to their old views, and formed a sect termed Eutychians, or 
Monophysites , to which the Copts of the present day still belong. 
The name of the Copts is an ethnical one, being simply an Arabic cor- 
ruption of the Greek name of Egyptians. The theory is now exploded that 
they derive their name from a certain itinerant preacher named Jacobus, 
who according to Makrizi was termed El-Beradi'i, or 'blanket-bearer', from 
the old horse-cloth worn by him when he went about preaching. This 
Jacobus promulgated the monophysite doctrine of Eutyches, which had 
found its most zealous supporter in Dioscurus, a bishop of Alexandria, 
who was declared a heretic and banished after the Council of Chalcedon ; 
and his disciples were sometimes called Jacobites. If this name had ever 
been abbreviated to Cobit or Cobt, it would probably have occurred 
frequently in the writings of Monophysites ; but there we find no trace 
of it. It is, on the other hand, quite intelligible that the word Copt, 
though originally synonymous with Egyptian, should gradually have come 
to denote a particular religious sect; for, at the period when the valley 
of the Nile was conquered by r Amr, the native Egyptians, who almost 
exclusively held the monophysite creed, were chiefly distinguished by 
their religion from their invaders, who brought a new religious system 
from the East. 

These Egyptian Christians strenuously opposed the resolutions of 
the Council of Chalcedon, and thousands of them sacrificed their 
lives or tlieir welfare in the fierce and sanguinary conflicts of the 
6th century, the causes of which were imperfectly understood by 
the great majority of the belligerents. The subtle dogmatic dif- 
ferences which gave rise to these wars aroused such hatred among 
these professors of the religion of love, that the defeated Monophy- 
sites readily welcomed the invading armies of El-Islam, or perhaps 
even invited them to their country. 

After the conquest of Egypt by 'Ami the Copts were at first 
treated with lenity, and were even appointed to the highest govern- 
ment offices ; but they were soon doomed to suffer persecutions and 
privations of every description. These persecutions were mainly 
due to their unbounded arrogance and their perpetual conspiracies 
against their new masters, and their Mohammedan contemporaries 
even attributed to them the disastrous conflagrations from which the 
new capital of the country so frequently suffered (p. 242). Accus- 
tomed for many ages to regard themselves as the most civilised of 
nations, and the Greeks as their inferiors, they perhaps imagined, 
that, if they succeeded in throwing off the yoke of the barbarous 
children of the desert, they could prevent the revival of the hated 
Byzantine supremacy. Their hopes, however, were doomed to bitter 


disappointment, and their national pride to utter humiliation. Their 
conquerors succeeded in maintaining their position, and though 
apparently at first inclined to moderation, were at length driven by 
the conduct and the previous example of the Copts themselves to 
persecute and oppress them to the uttermost. 

In spite, however, of all these disasters, a numerous community 
of Copts has always existed in Egypt, a fact which is mainly to be 
accounted for by the remarkable tenacity and constancy of the 
Egyptian character. Owing, however, to the continual oppres- 
sion and contempt to which they have been subjected, the grave 
disposition of the subjects of the Pharaohs has degenerated into 
sullen gloom, and their industry into cupidity. The rancour which 
they have so long cherished has embittered their character, while 
the persecutions they have suffered have taught them to be at one 
time cringing, and at another arrogant and overbearing. They are 
in very few respects superior to their Mohammedan countrymen. 
They generally possess an hereditary aptitude for mathematical 
science, and are therefore in great request as book-keepers and 
accountants, but on the other hand they are entirely destitute of the 
generous and dignified disposition of the Arabs. They obey their 
law which forbids polygamy, but constantly abuse that which per- 
mits them to indulge in spirituous liquors, drunkards being fre- 
quently met with, even among their priests. Their divine worship 
will strike the traveller as strange, and anything but edifying or 

The traveller may distinguish the Copts from the Arabs by their 
dark turbans, which are generally blue or black, and their dark- 
coloured clothes. This costume was originally prescribed by their 
oppressors, and they still take a pride in it as a mark of their origin, 
though now permitted to dress as they please. A practised eye will 
also frequently detect among them the ancient Egyptian cast of 
features. Towards strangers the Copt is externally obliging, and 
when anxious to secure their favour he not unfrequently appeals to 
his Christian creed as a bond of union. Many Copts have recently 
been converted to Protestantism by American missionaries, parti- 
cularly in Upper Egypt, chiefly through the foundation of good 
schools and the distribution of cheap Arabic Bibles. Even the 
orthodox Copts have a great reverence for the sacred volume, and it 
is not uncommon to meet with members of their sect who know the 
whole of the gospels by heart. The Roman propaganda, which was 
begun by Franciscans at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 
18th cent., has been less successful among the Copts, and there 
now exist a few small Roman Catholic communities in Upper Egypt 
only (atGirgeh, Akhmim, and Negada). To the Romanists, however, 
is partly due the preservation of the old Coptic language, into which 
they caused the gospels to be translated by the most learned scholars 
of the day (accompanied by a preface asserting the supremacy of 


the pope) for circulation in Egypt. Notwithstanding the serious 
defects to which we have alluded, the Coptic community boasts of 
a number of highly respectable members, and in spite of the frequent 
heavy contributions levied from the sect by previous governments, 
it contains several wealthy landowners and merchants, some of 
whom we shall hereafter have occasion to name. 

3. Beduins. Bedu (sing, bedawf) is the name applied to the 
nomadic Arabs, and 'Arab to those who immigrated at a later per- 
iod and settled in the valley of the Nile. They both differ mater- 
ially from the dwellers in towns and from the fellahin, who 
usually call themselves 'Sons of the Arabs' (Ibn el- Arab). The 
subdivisions of the Beduin tribes are called Kabileh (whence 
the name Kabyles , applied to some of the Algerian Beduins). 
Though differing greatly in origin and language , the wandering 
tribes of Egypt all profess Mohammedanism. Again, while some 
of them have immigrated from Arabia or Syria , partly in very 
ancient, and partly in modern times, and while others are sup- 
posed to be the aboriginal inhabitants of the territories claimed 
by them (as the Berbers of N. Africa and the Ethiopians or Blem- 
myes of Nubia), or former dwellers on the Nile expelled from their 
homes by foreign invaders, they all differ greatly from the stationary 
Egyptian population ; and this contrast is accounted for by the 
radical difference between the influences of the desert and those of 
the Nile valley. The Beduins may be divided into two leading 
groups : (1) Beduins in the narrower sense, i. e. Arabic speaking 
tribes, most of whom have probably immigrated from Arabia or Sy- 
ria, and who occupy the deserts adjoining Central and Northern 
Egypt, or who are to be found in different regions of Southern Nubia 
as a pastoral people ; (2) 'Bega', who range over the regions of Upper 
Egypt and Nubia situated between the Nile and the Red Sea, and 
extending to the frontiers of the Abyssinian mountains (their ter- 
ritory being known as 'Edbai'). To these last the name of Ethio- 
pians may as accurately be applied as that of Arabs to the first 
group ; and they are believed by Dr. Lepsius to be the descendants 
of the Blemmyes, who occupied the Nubian part of the valley of the 
Nile down to the 4th cent, after Christ, when they were expelled 
by 'Nubian' invaders from the south. The second group consists of 
three different races, the Hadendoa, the Bishartn, and the Ababdeh. 
The last-named , who are widely scattered in the valleys of the 
desert between the tropics and the latitude of Keneh and Koser, 
and who lead a poverty-stricken life with their very scanty stock of 
camels and goats, are those with whom alone we have to deal as 
inhabitants of Egypt. Though closely resembling the other Bega 
tribes in appearance, the Ababdeh (sing. Abadi, the Gebadei of 
Pliny) possess an original language of their own ('to-bedyawiyeh'), 
which, however, they have long since exchanged for bad Arabic. 
Besides the girdle round their loins they wear a kind of long white 


shirt, and in winter a light-coloured striped woollen mantle, while 
the Bisharin and Hadendoa tend their large flocks of sheep and 
herds of camels in a half-naked condition, girded with a leathern 
apron and wrapped in a kind of blanket (meldyeh). All these 'Ethio- 
pians' are Dolichocephali , with orthognathous skulls , and are re- 
markable for their fine and almost Caucasian cast of features, their 
very dark, bronze-coloured complexion, and their luxuriant growth 
of hair, shading their heads like a cloud, or hanging down in num- 
berless plaits over their necks and shoulders, while in front it is 
short and curly. Their figures are beautifully symmetrical, and 
more or less slender in accordance with their means of subsistence, 
and their limbs are gracefully and delicately formed. In other re- 
spects they resemble all the other children of the desert, as in the 
purity of their complexion, the peculiar thinness of their necks, 
and the premature wrinkling of the skin of their faces. Com- 
pared with their bold and quarrelsome neighbours the Bisharin, the 
Ababdeh, who are armed with a dagger worn in a sheath attached 
to the upper part of the left arm, or with a long, straight sword, 
but never with a gun, are exceedingly gentle and inoffensive. The 
Egyptian government has put an end to the old feuds between the 
Bisharin and the Ababdeh by entrusting to the latter the superin- 
tendence of the great commercial route through the Nubian desert 
(from Korusko to Abu Hammed), and by placing the nine tribes of 
the Bisharin under the jurisdiction of the chief shekh of the Abab- 
deh, who is personally responsible for the safety of the routes through 
the desert, and is therefore obliged to reside in the valley of the 
Nile. (His present headquarters are at the small village of Behereh, 
at the foot of the hill of Redesiyeh, opposite to Edfu.) The total 
number of the Ababdeh amounts to about 30,000. The chief 
shekh whose dignity is hereditary , appoints over the principal vil- 
lages a number of sub-chiefs, who are appealed to asjudges in family 
quarrels which the head of the family has been unable to settle. 
The dwellings of the Ababdeh consist of low and miserable hovels 
constructed of stakes covered with ragged straw-mats, and placed in 
groups of not more than 4-8 together. They also sometimes live in 
caves, like genuine Troglodytes, although exposed to danger from 
snakes. Like the other Bega tribes, they are chiefly occupied as 
shepherds and camel-drivers. The wealthier purchase a little sorgh- 
um grain , which they eat either raw, or roasted , or in the form of 
unleavened cakes, but the poorer seem to have a marvellous power of 
sustaining life on homoeop'athically minute quantities of goats' milk 
and the game which they occasionally capture. The Bisharin also live 
exclusively on milk and a little meat , while the Arabian Beduins 
of the North till the soil to some extent when an opportunity of- 
fers. A considerable number of the Ababdeh and Bisharin who 
live near the coast and possess no cattle or other property, subsist 
precariously on the produce of the sea. They are not fishermen, as 


they possess no boats or other appliances, with the exception of 
spears and landing-nets, but merely 'Ichthyophagi', who pick up 
shell-fish, octopoda, or small fish thrown up on the beach. Occasion- 
ally they make a prize of turtle's eggs , and sometimes succeed in 
reaching the sandy islands of the Red Sea where the sea-swallow 
(sterna) lays its eggs. This poor mode of life of course has an in- 
fluence on their mental capacity, which is not of a very high order ; 
but they are intelligent in their own affairs, and remarkably skilful 
trackers, so much so that they are often employed by the government 
in pursuing criminals. They are nominally Mohammedans, but 
they do not pray, or keep the fast of Ramadan, or make pilgrimages, 
except on rare occasions. Nor do they, like orthodox Mohammedans, 
fear 'ginn' and 'ghuls', but they permit polygamy, observe the rite 
of circumcision, and worship saints. 

Besides the Bega, there are numerous Beduins who inhabit the 
steppes and deserts belonging to the region of the Nile, but beyond 
the limits of Egypt, and range as far as the confines of the heathen 
negro-races on the left bank of the Nile, nearly to 9° N. latitude ; 
but with these we have not at present to deal. Among the Arabian 
Beduins of the North, there are three important tribes in the pen- 
insula of Mount Sinai : the Terabiyin, who carry on a brisk caravan 
traffic between Suez and Cairo, and claim territorial rights as far as 
the banks of the Nile near Basatin above Cairo ; the Tihaya, who 
occupy the heart of the peninsula, between Suez and 'Akaba ; and 
the Sawdrkeh or El-'Araylsh, to the north of the latter. In Upper 
Egypt, besides the Ababdeh , the only Beduins who occupy the 
eastern bank of the Nile are the Beni Wasel and the Atuni, or 
Hawadat, who, however, have now settled on both banks of the 
Theban Nile valley and are gradually blending with the fellahin, 
and the Ma'azeh (about 3000 in number), who dwell in groups 
among the limestone mountains between Suez and Keneh, where 
there aTe good pastures at places. Most of the Arabian Beduins, 
on the other hand, who belong to Egypt, confine themselves to the 
westernbank of the Nile. They occupy the whole of this side of the 
river from the Fayum as farasAbydus nearGirgeh, and it is mainly 
with their aid that communication is maintained with the western 
oases, peopled by a totally different race (p. 65), who till the ground 
and possess no camels, being probably allied to the Berbers of 
Northern Africa (one of the numerous Libyan tribes mentioned 
in ancient inscriptions). 

The Beduins of the North have inherited with comparative purity 
the fiery blood of the desert tribes, who achieved such marvellous 
exploits under the banner of the prophet, but the traveller will 
rarely come in contact with them unless he undertakes a journey 
across the desert. The loiterers who assist travellers in the ascent 
of the pyramids and pester them to buy antiquities, which are 
generally spurious, call themselves Beduins, but, even if originally 

48 THE MODERN EGYPTIANS. Dwellers in Towns. 

of that race, they have entirely lost all its nobler characteristics in 
consequence of their intercourse with strangers and their debasing 
occupations. Genuine Beduins are to be found nowhere except in 
their desert home, where to a great extent they still retain the spirit 
of independence, the courage, and the restlessness of their ancestors. 
As in the time of Herodotus, the tent of the Beduin is still his 
home. Where it is pitched is a matter of indifference to him, if 
only the pegs which secure it be firmly driven into the earth , if it 
shelter his wife and child from the burning sunshine and the chilly 
night air, and if pasturage-ground and a spring be within reach. In 
consequence of the frequent wars waged between the different 
tribes, every Beduin is a warrioT. Most of them, too, as might be 
expected, are extremely poor. Thus at Ramleh on the coast, near 
Alexandria, the traveller will have an opportunity of seeing a whole 
colony of the poorest class encamped in their tents, where they 
live in the most frugal possible manner, with a few miserable goats 
and the fowls which subsist on the rubbish in their neighbourhood. 
Though professors of El-Islam , they are considerably less strict in 
their observances than the fellahin of the valley of the Nile, who 
are themselves sufficiently lax , and above all they sadly neglect 
the religious duty of cleanliness. They do not observe the practice 
of praying five times a day, and they are as a rule but slightly ac- 
quainted with the Koran. Relics of their old star-worship can still 
be traced among their customs. 

The traveller will occasionally observe Beduins in the bazaars 
of the armourers and leather-merchants, and will be struck with 
the proud and manly bearing of these bronzed children of the desert, 
whose sharp, bearded features and steady gaze betoken firmness and 
resolution. In Egypt the traveller need not fear their predatory 
propensities, but they have frequently attacked travellers in Tur- 
kish Tripolitania and in the eastern part of Arabia Petraea. 

(4). Arabian Dwellers in Towns. Those Arabs with whom the 
traveller usually comes in contact in towns are shopkeepers, officials, 
servants, coachmen, and donkey-attendants, or perhaps these last 
only, as most of the best shops are kept by Europeans, while in of- 
ficial and legal matters his intercourse with the natives is carried 
on through the medium of his consul. The indolence and duplicity 
of these Arabs, which proceed to some extent from the character of 
their religion, have often been justly condemned, while their in- 
telligence, patience, and amiability are too often ignored. They are 
generally of a much more mixed origin than the fellahin, as the va- 
rious conquerors of Egypt usually made the towns their head- 
quarters. Alexandria, for example, was chiefly favoured by the 
Greeks and Arabs, and Cairo by the Arabs and Turks. It thus hap- 
pens that the citizens of the Egyptian towns consist of persons of 
every complexion from dark brown to white, with the features of 
the worshippers of Osiris or the sharp profile of the Beduins, and 


with the slender flguie of the fellah or the corpulence of the Turk. 
Among the lower classes frequent intermarriage with negro women 
has darkened the complexion and thickened the features of their 
offspring ; while the higher ranks , being descended from white 
slaves or Turkish mothers, more nearly resemble the European type. 
As the inhabitants of the towns could not be so much oppressed by 
their rulers as the peasantry, we find that they exhibit a more in- 
dependent spirit, greater enterprise, and a more cheerful disposition 
than the fellahin. At the same time they are not free from the 
dreamy character peculiar to Orientals, nor from a tinge of the apathy 
of fatalism ; and their indolence contrasts strongly with the industry 
of their European rivals in political, scientific, artistic, and all 
business pursuits. A glance at the offices of the ministers, the 
bazaars of the merchants, the schools of the Arabs, and the building- 
yards and workshops constructed by natives will enable the traveller 
to observe with what deliberation and with what numerous inter- 
vals of repose they perform their tasks. From such workers it is 
in vain to expect rapidity, punctuality, or work of a highly finished 
character, and the caustic remark of Prince Napoleon thatthe Egyp- 
tians are 'capable of making a pair of pantaloons, but never of 
sewing on the last button', was doubtless founded on experience. 
The townspeople profess Islamism, but, in their youth particularly, 
they are becoming more and more lax in their obedience to the Koran. 
Thus the custom of praying in public, outside the house-doors and 
shops, is gradually falling into disuse. The European dress, more- 
over, is gradually superseding the Oriental, though the latter is far 
more picturesque, and better suited to the climate t. On the whole, 
however, they are bigoted Mohammedans, and share the contempt 
with which the fellahin regard all other religions. Their daily inter- 
course with unbelievers and their dread of the power of the Christ- 
ian nations tend, however, to keep their fanaticism, which otherwise 
would be unbounded, in check, and has even induced them to admit 
strangers to witness the most sacred ceremonies in their mosques. 
(5). Berbers. The name Berberi (plur. bardbra) is believed 
by many authorities to be identical with 'barbarians', a word which 
is said to have been adopted by the Greeks from the Egyptians, who 
used it to denote all 'non-Egyptians', and to be derived from brr, 
i. e. 'to be unable to speak', or 'to speak imperfectly'. The 'Ber- 
bers' of N.Africa and the town of 'Berber' in S. Nubia also doubt- 
less have the same origin. In Egypt the name is applied in a half 
contemptuous way to the numerous immigrants from the Nubian 

t About the year 1865 a kind of uniform called the 'Stambulina' was 
prescribed by the government for all the officials of the higher classes 
(black coat with a row of buttons and low upright collar), but they are 
allowed to wear ordinary European clothing in their offices. All the 
officials, however, in the pay of the Egyptian government, including Eu- 
ropeans, and even the members of the mixed court of justice, must wear 
the red fez (tarbush). 

Baedeker's EervDt I. 2nd Ed. A 


part of the valley of the Nile, who form the largest foreign element 
of the community, and who never entirely assimilate with it, as the 
Nubians make it a rule never to marry Egyptian wives. The Nubi- 
ans, on the other hand, speak slightingly of the Egyptians as 'Wod- 
er-Rif ', or sons of the Nile valley (comp. p. 31). The two races 
entertain a great dislike to each other, and their dispositions are 
fundamentally different. The Nubians are inferior to the Egyptians 
in industry and energy, especially in tilling the soil, and also in 
physical strength; and they are more superstitious and fanatical, as 
is indicated by the numerous amulets they wear round their 
necks and arms. They are , however , superior to the Egyptians in 
cleanliness, honesty, and subordination, and possess a more highly 
developed sense of honour. The Nubian doorkeepers who are to 
be found in all the mercantile houses of Alexandria and elsewhere 
are noted for their honesty. The traveller must not expect to find 
them very sincerely attached or grateful , any more than the native 
Egyptians (comp. pp. 12, 25), but as servants they are certainly 
preferable. The inhabitants of the Nubian part of the valley of 
the Nile are not all strictly Nubians ; for in the southern parts 
of that region a colony of Shegiyeh and other Arabian tribes has 
settled in comparatively recent times. The genuine Nubians (a 
name unknown to themselves , and of ancient origin) occupy the 
valley of the Nile from Gebel Barkal near the fourth cataract 
down to the first cataract, and are divided in accordance with the 
principal idioms of their language into Mahas , Kenus , and Don- 
kolas. Their language belongs to the Libyan group of the N.African 
tongues, and Dr. Brugsch is of opinion that it may afford a clue to 
the interpretation of the still undeciphered Ethiopian (Mero'itie) 
inscriptions of the Nubian part of the Nile valley. Dr. Lepsius, 
on the other hand, who has published an admirable work on the 
subject, maintains that the 'to-bedyawiyeh' language of the Bega 
(p. 45) is more likely to be cognate with that of the inscriptions, 
as he believes that the Blemmyes , the ancestors of the Bega, were 
the original inhabitants of the region in question, and were expelled 
by the handsome and intelligent 'Nuba' negroes from the district to 
the S. of Kordofan. Friedrich Miiller places the Nuba tongue in 
a separate category along with the dialects of a few other tribes in 
different parts of Africa , and there is certainly much to be said in 
favour of this distinction of it from the languages of the Hamitic 
races on the one side and the typical negro races on the other. 

Those Berbers who do not learn Arabic grammatically never speak 
it thoroughly well ; but it is generally, though imperfectly, understood 
in Nubia. The traveller must therefore not expect to learn good Arabic 
from his Nubian servants. In their native country they till the banks 
of the Nile, but their land is of very limited extent and poorly culti- 
vated ; and as their harvests are scanty they are rarely able to support 
large families. They accordingly often emigrate at an early age to the 


richer lowlands, chiefly to the large towns, and particularly to Alex- 
andria, in quest of employment ; and they find no difficulty in 
attaining their object, for they are generally active, intelligent, and 
honest, while the older immigrants, who are strongly attached to their 
country, are always zealous in procuring them work and rendering 
them assistance. When the Berber has succeeded in amassing a 
moderate fortune, he returns to settle in his native country, of 
which throughout his whole career he never entirely loses sight, 
and to which he frequently remits his hardly earned savings for the 
benefit of his relations. The cold winter nights in Egypt are very 
trying to the poor Berbers, who often have to sleep in the open air 
outside the doors, and many of them are attacked by consumption. 
They are most commonly employed as doorkeepers (bawwab), as 
house-servants (khaddam), as grooms and runners (sdis), for which 
their swiftness renders them unrivalled, as coachmen f'arbagi), 
and as cooks (tabbakh). Each of these five classes is admirably or- 
ganised as a kind of guild, with a shekh of its own, who levies a 
tax from each member, and guarantees the character and abilities of 
members when hired. Thefts are very rarely committed by the 
Nubians , but in cases of the kind the shekh compels the whole of 
his subjects to contribute to Tepair the loss, and cases have been 
known in which several hundred pounds have been recovered in 
this way. The result is that there is a strict mutual system of 
supervision, and suspected characters are unceremoniously excluded 
from the fraternity. Nubian women are seldom seen in Egypt. 

(6.) Negroes. Like the Berbers, most of the negroes in Egypt 
are professors of El-Islam, to the easily intelligible dootrines of 
which they readily and zealously attach themselves. Most of the 
older negroes and negresses with whom the traveller meets have 
originally been brought to Egypt as slaves, and belong to natives, 
by whom they are treated more like members of the family than 
like servants. Although every slave who desires to be emancipated 
may now with the aid of government sever the ties which bind him 
to his master, most of the negroes prefer to remain on the old foot- 
ing with the family which supports them and relieves them of the 
anxiety of providing for themselves. The eunuchs, who also belong 
almost exclusively to the negro races, but are rapidly becoming 
rarer, very seldom avail themselves of this opportunity of regaining 
their liberty, as their emancipation would necessarily terminate the 
life of ease and luxury in which they delight. The slave-trade is 
now very rapidly approaching complete extinction in Egypt, not so 
much owing to the penalties imposed (which the rapacious officials 
take every opportunity of enforcing), as from changes in the mode 
of living, and the growing preference of the wealthy for paid ser- 
vants. Down to 1870 the trade was still carried on in secret with 
some success, but since then it has been at a standstill. Since 
1878 the government has kept a complete register of domestic 



slaves, and special officials are appointed to watch over their in- 

The negroes, who voluntarily settle in Egypt in considerable 
numbers, form the dregs of the people and are employed in the most 
menial offices. Most of the negro Taces of Central Africa to the N. 
of the equator are represented at Cairo, particularly in the rank and 
file of the negro regiments. 

Ethnographers, linguists, or other scientific men who desire to see 
specimens of as many different races as possible should obtain an intro- 
duction to an Arabian merchant in the Gameliyeh, who will conduct 
them to merchants from every part of the interior and of the African 
coast, each attended by his staff of negro servants. The latter, however, 
especially if long resident in Egypt, cannot give trustworthy information 
about their country and their origin. Some of them have forgotten their 
mother tongue and even the name of their native country. 

Foreigners are prohibited from taking negro servants out of the 
country, but if through the intervention of their consul they obtain per- 
mission they must find security for their subsequent restoration. 

(7). Turks. Although the dynasty of the viceroys of Egypt is 
of Turkish origin (see p. 106), a comparatively small section of the 
community belongs to that nation, and their numbers appear to be 
diminishing. The Turks of Egypt are chiefly to be found in the towns, 
where most of them are government officials, soldiers, and merchants. 
The Turkish officials are much to blame for the maladministration 
which so long paralysed the rich productiveness of the valley of the 
Nile, having always with few exceptions been actuated in their pro- 
ceedings by motives of reckless cupidity without regard to ulterior con- 
sequences. Now, however, that the government of the Khedive has 
adopted more enlightened principles, it has admitted other national- 
ities also to its highest civil appointments, some of which are held 
by able Europeans , and under their auspices a brighter future is 
probably in store for Egypt. The Turkish merchants are generally a 
prosperous class, and, although fully alive to their pecuniary inter- 
ests, they are dignified and courteous in their bearing, and are 
often remarkable for the handsomeness of their features. 

(8). Levantines. A link between the various classes of dwellers 
in Egypt and the visitors to the banks of the Nile is formed by the 
members of the various Mediterranean races, known as Levantines, 
who have been settled here for several generations, and form no in- 
considerable element in the population of the larger towns. Most of 
them profess the Latin form of Christianity, and Arabic has now be- 
come their mother tongue, although they still speak their old national 
dialects. They are apt linguists, learning the European languages with 
great rapidity, and good men of business, and owing to these qua- 
lities they are often employed as shopmen and clerks. Their ser- 
vicds have also become indispensable at the consulates as translators 
of eocuments destined for the native authorities, and as bearers of 
communications between the respective offices. A large proportion 
of them are wealthy. Being Christians, the Levantines all live under 
the protection of the different consuls, and thus unfairly escape 


payment of taxes, although they derive the whole of their wealth 
from the country. 

(9). Armenians and Jews. This section of the community is 
about as numerous as the last, and in some respects contrasts 
favourably with it. The Armenians generally possess excellent 
abilities, and a singular aptitude for learning both Oriental and 
European languages , which they often acquire with great gram- 
matical accuracy. Many of them are wealthy goldsmiths and jewel- 
lers, and they often hold important government offices. 

The Jews are often distinguishable by their red hair from the 
native Egyptians, as well as by other characteristics. Most of them 
are from Palestine, but many have recently immigrated from Wal- 
laehia. All the money-changers in the streets (sarraf), and many 
of the wealthiest merchants of Egypt, are Jews, and notwithstand- 
ing the popular prejudice entertained against them, owing as is 
alleged to their disregard of cleanliness , they now form , thanks to 
the impartiality of the present government, one of the most highly 
respected sections of the community. 

(10). Europeans. The number of European residents and 
visitors in Egypt at the census of 1882 was 82,000, exclusive of 
the British army of occupation. The Greeks are most numerously 
represented, then the Italians, French, English (including Maltese), 
Austrians (including many Dalmatians), and Germans. The nu- 
merous Swiss residents in Egypt , who are not represented by a 
consul of their own , are distributed among the above leading clas- 
ses (French, Italian, German). Beside these nationalities, there 
are also a few representatives of Russia, America, Belgium, Scan- 
dinavia, and other countries. Each of the above leading natio- 
nalities shows a preference for one or more particular occupa- 
tions, in which they sometimes enjoy a complete monopoly. The 
Greeks of all classes are generally traders. They constitute the aris- 
tocracy of Alexandria, and the victual-dealers (bakkal) in all the 
other towns are mostly Greeks. They are the proprietors of the 
numerous small banks which lend money on good security, both to 
the peasantry and the government officials, at a rate of interest 
sometimes amounting to 6 per cent monthly , the maximum per- 
mitted by law ; and they are the only Europeans who have established 
themselves permanently as merchants beyond the confines of Egypt 
proper. The Greeks also have the unenviable notoriety of com- 
mitting numerous murders, thefts, and other crimes, but it must 
be borne in mind that they are by far the most numerous section 
of the European community (35,000 from Greece alone, besides 
many Turkish subjects), and that some 30,000 of them belong to 
the lowest class of emigrants from an unhappy and ill-conditioned 
country. Many of these crimes must, moreover, be regarded as the 
outcome of the sadly misdirected daring and ability which 
characterise their nation. The superiority of the Greeks to the 


Orientals is nowhere so strikingly manifested as in Egypt, where it 
affords a modern reflex of their ancient, world-renowned supremacy. 
Most of them are immigrants from the various Greek islands, and 
the purity of their type is specially noteworthy. 

The Italian residents, 16,000 in number, consist chiefly of tra- 
ders of a humble class, advocates, and musicians, from the operatic 
singer down to the Calabrian itinerant. Of French nationality 
(15,000) are all the artizans of the higher class, who are generally 
noted for their skill , trustwortlmiess , and sobriety, and indeed 
form the most respectable stratum of the European community. 
Most of the better shops are kept by Frenchmen, and the chief 
European officials of the government, including several architects 
and engineers, are French. The English settlers number about 5000, 
exclusive of the troops, of which there were about 7000 at the 
beginning of 1885. Until recently their specialities were the manu- 
facture of machinery and the construction of railways and harbours ; 
but of late they have also almost monopolised the chief posts in 
those branches of the administration (post and telegraph office, 
railways, custom-house) that have been remodelled after the Euro- 
pean pattern. A large majority of the residents who enjoy the pro- 
tection of the British consulate are Maltese, and to them apply even 
more forcibly most of the remarks already made regarding the 
Greeks. It has been ascertained that the Maltese settlers in foreign 
countries are more numerous than those resident in their two 
small native islands, and of these a considerable proportion be- 
longs to Egypt. At home, under the discipline of British institu- 
tions, they form a pattern little nation of their own, but in Egypt, 
where they are freed from the restraint of these influences, they 
are very apt to degenerate and to swell unduly the ranks of the 
criminal class. Many of the Maltese, however, are enterprising 
tradesmen and industrious artizans, such as shoemakers and joiners. 
To the Austrian (3000) and German (1000) community belong a 
number of merchants of the best class, all the directors of the prin- 
cipal banks, many physicians and teachers, innkeepers, musicians, 
and lastly handicraftsmen of humble pretensions. 

With regard to the capability of Europeans of becoming ac- 
climatised in Egypt, there are a number of widely divergent opinions. 
Much, of course, must depend on the nature of the climate of their 
own respective countries. It has been asserted that European 
families settled in Egypt die out in the second or third generation, 
but of this there is no sufficient proof, as the European community 
is of very recent origin, and many examples to the contrary might 
be cited. The climate of Egypt is less enervating than that of most 
other hot countries, an advantage attributed to the dryness of the 
air and the saline particles contained in it; while the range of tem- 
perature between the different seasons is greater than in Ireland or 

Course. THE NILE. 55 

The Nile (comp. Map, p. 30). The Nile ranks with the Ama- 
zon and the Congo as one of the three longest rivers in the world 
(about 4000 M.), since its headstream is probably to be found in 
the Shimiju, which rises five degrees to the S. of the Equator. 
Throughout nearly the whole of its course the river is navigable, 
with two great interruptions only (at Abu Hammed-Barkal and 
Donkola-Wadi Haifa). Though it is greatly surpassed by the Ama- 
zon and Congo in volume, neither these nor any other river in the 
world can vie in historical and ethnographical interest with the 
'father of rivers'. 

The discovery of the true sources of the Nile and the cause of 
its annual overflow are two scientific problems which for upwards 
of 2000 years European scholars laboured to solve, while the Egyp- 
tians themselves regarded the river as a deity, and its origin and 
properties as the most sacred of mysteries , to be revealed to the 
curious spirit of man only when he should have quitted this earthly 
scene. As it is the Egyptian Nile only with which we have at 
present to deal, we shall advert but briefly to the subject of the 
sources of the river, and mention the principal affluents only which 
affect Egypt. 

The Nile is formed by the confluence of the White and the Blue 
Nile at the town of Khartum, from which point to its principal 
mouths at Damietta andltosetta, a distance of upwards of 1800 
miles, it traverses an absolutely barren country, and receives one 
tributary only, the Atbara, on the east side, about 180 miles below 
Khartum. Throughout the whole of this distance, in the course of 
which it falls 1240 ft. , the river has to contend against numerous 
absorbing influences, for which it receives no compensation beyond 
the rare showers attracted in winter by the mountains between 
its right bank and the Red Sea. Nothwithstanding the immense 
length of the river, it very rarely presents the picturesque appearance 
of some of the great European and other rivers , as its banks are 
generally flat and monotonous, and it contains hardly a single island 
worthy of mention. The broadest parts of this portion of the Nile 
are a little below Khartum, a little above its bifurcation near Cairo, 
and also near Minyeh, at each of which places it attains a width of 
about 1 100 yds. , while the White Nile is of greater breadth throughout 
a long part of its lower course. As the river pursues its tortuous 
course through thirsty land, for a distance of 15 degrees of latitude, 
much of its water is consumed by evaporation and infiltration (a pro- 
cess by which it is probable that Libyan oases are supplied with 
water from the Nubian Nile) , and still more so by the extensive 
system of artificial canals requisite for the irrigation of a whole 
kingdom. M. Linant estimates this loss at the time of the inun- 
dation within Egypt proper, i.e. between Gebel Selseleh and Cairo, 
as one-third of the total volume; he found that 1,093,340,222 cu- 
bic metres of water passed Gebel Selseleh in 24 hrs., while on the 

56 THE NILE. Source. 

same day only 705,588,389 cubic metres passed Cairo. At the 
confluence of the White and Blue Nile their average volumes are 
in the proportion of three to one , but the latter assumes far 
greater importance when swollen by the Abyssinian rains. The 
Blue Nile is in fact a species of mountain-torrent, being liable to 
rise suddenly and sweep away everything it encounters on its ra- 
pidly descending course. It is therefore called the Bahr el-Azrak, 
I. e. the blue, 'dark', or 'turbid', in contradistinction to the Bahr 
el-Abyad, i. e. the white, or rather the 'clear' river, whose water 
descends from clear lakes and is farther filtered by the vast grassy 
plains and occasional floating plants through which it passes. 
The Blue Nile (together with its coadjutor the Atbara) may there- 
fore be regarded as the sole origin of the fertility of Egypt, and also 
as the cause of the inundation, while on the other hand the regular 
and steady supply of water afforded by the White Nile performs the 
very important office of preventing the lower part of the river from 
drying up altogether in summer. The White Nile is not only much 
larger than the Blue in average volume, but is, with its tributaries, 
more than double the length. It does not, however, remain very long 
undivided. Higher up, in 9° N. latitude, it receives on the east 
side the waters of the Sobdt, a stream descending from the mountains 
to the south of Abyssinia, and resembling the Blue Nile in character, 
though much smaller. A little farther up, on the opposite side, 
the White Nile is joined by the Bahr el-Ghazdl, or Gazelle River, 
a very sluggish stream, fed by numerous springs rising in the Nyam- 
nyam and Kredy regions, between 4° and 5° N. latitude. Higher up 
the river takes the name of Bahr el-Gebel, and is considerably smal- 
ler in volume , and beyond 5° N. latitude it ceases to be navigable, 
as it descends in a series of rapids from the Albert Nyanza or 
Mwutan Lake. This sheet of water is connected by another river, 
the '(Somerset', which may be regarded as the continuation of the 
White Nile, with the Victoria Nyanza or Vkerewe Lake ; while the 
Shimiju and other S. feeders of the latter may be called the ulti- 
mate sources of the Nile. 

The Valley of the Nile from Khartum to the Delta , although 
from its great length (15° of latitude) necessarily possessing great 
varieties of climate, forms one long unbroken tract of country, the 
fertilising soil of which is brought down by the Blue Nile from the 
Abyssinian mountains. 

The breadth of the Valley of the Nile, including the barren land 
immediately flanking it, varies from 472*0 10 miles in Nubia, and 
from 14 to 32 miles in Egypt. The banks, of which the eastern is 
called the 'Arabian', and the western the 'Libyan', rise at places 
to upwards of 1000 ft., resembling two large canal embankments 
between which the river has forced its passage through the plateau 
of 'Nubian sandstone' (which extends to the Gebel Selseleh above 
Edfu), and through the nummulite limestone of Upper and Central 

Inundation. T1IE NILE. 57 

Egypt. The breadth of the cultivable alluvial soil corresponds with 
the above varying width, but nowhere exceeds 9 miles. The soil 
deposited by the Nile averages 33-38 ft. deep in Egypt , but near 
Kalyiib at the head of the Delta it increases to about 50 ft., the 
bottom of it being at places below the level of the sea. The bed of 
the river is also of considerable depth, and at low water the mud- 
bauks (gef) rise above its surface to a height of 25 ft. in Upper 
Egypt, and 14 ft. at Cairo. These are also the depths of the various 
irrigation wells. 

'Throughout the whole (?) of Egypt the Nile mud rests on a bed of sea- 
sand. The whole country between the first cataract and the Mediter- 
ranean was formerly a narrow estuary , which was probably filled by 
degrees during the pleiocene period with lagoon deposits , washed down 
from the crystalline Habesh. At a later period , when Egypt had risen 
from the sea (and after the isthmus had been formed) , the river forced 
its passage through these deposits of mud , sweeping away many of the 
loose particles at one place and depositing them again farther down 1 . 
(Fraas.) The Nile soil is unlike any other in the world in its composi- 
tion. According to Regnault it contains 63 per cent of water and sand, 
18 per cent of carbonate of lime , 9 per cent of quartz , silica , felspar, 
hornblende , and epidote , 6 per cent of oxide of iron , and 4 per cent of 
carbonate of magnesia. 

Nothing certain is known regarding the average increase of the 
alluvial land, all the calculations regarding it having hitherto been 
based on erroneous or insufficient data. Thus the Nilometer of 
antiquity furnishes the depth relatively to the level of the sea, but 
not absolutely. The thickness of earth accumulated around buildings 
of known age has also been found a fallacious guide ; and lastly 
local measurements lead to no result, as the river often capriciously 
washes away what it has deposited in previous years. An approxi- 
mate calculation might possibly be made if the proportion of solid 
matter annually brought down by the river could be ascertained, 
but no investigation of this kind has ever been made. It has some- 
times been asserted that the desert has begun to encroach upon the 
cultivated part of the valley, but Sir G. Wilkinson has shown, that, 
while the sand of the desert may be advancing at places, the cultiv- 
able bed of the valley is steadily increasing in thickness and width. 

The Inundation , as is obvious from what has already been 
said, is more or less favourable according to the greater or less 
amount of rain that falls among the Abyssinian mountains, for 
that which falls in Central Africa is a more constant quantity, 
being regulated by the influence of the trade-winds. Like the 
waterspouts which descend on equatorial Africa, the overflow al- 
ways recurs at the same season of the year, varying in its advent 
by a few days only, and in its depth by several yards. At the be- 
ginning of June the river slowly begins to swell , and between the 
15th and 20th of July the increase becomes very rapid. Towards 
the end of September the water ceases to rise, remaining at the same 
height for a fortnight or more , but during the first half of October 
it rises again and attains its highest level (comp. p. 239). After 

58 THE NILE. Inundation. 

having begun to subside, it generally rises again for a short time, 
sometimes regaining and even passing its first culminating point. 
At length it begins to subside steadily, and after a time the de- 
crease becomes more and more rapid. In January, February, and 
March the fields from which the water has receded gradually dry 
up, and in April, May, and the first few days of June the river is 
at its lowest. The height of the inundation most favourable for 
agriculture at the present day has been ascertained by long obser- 
vation to be 23 cubits 2 inches (i.e. about 41 ft. 2in., the cubit 
being 21. 3g6 inches), while in the time of Herodotus 16 cubits suf- 
ficed, and the god of the Nile in the Vatican is therefore repres- 
ented as surrounded by sixteen children. A single cubit more is 
apt to cause terrible devastation in the Delta, and elsewhere to cover 
many fields destined for the autumn crop (nabdri, p. 74), while a 
deficiency of two cubits causes drought and famine in Upper Egypt. 
As health depends to a great extent on the regularity of the 
pulsations of the heart, so the welfare of the whole of this singular 
country is jeopardised by a too powerful or a too scanty flow of the 
great artery on which its very existence depends. An excessive 
overflow , especially if it does not give notice of its approach in 
due time, is far more disastrous now than formerly, as the extensive 
cotton-fields in the Delta will not bear flooding , and have to be 
protected by embankments. 

Egypt is now no longer a vast lake during the inundation as 
it formerly was, nor does the overflow of the fields take place in a 
direct manner as is commonly supposed. The water is conducted 
into a vast network of reservoirs and canals, and distributed as re- 
quired (comp. p. 71), and special engineers are appointed for their 
supervision. The whole of the cultivable land is divided into huge 
basins, in which the water introduced by the canals is maintained 
at a certain height until it has sufficiently saturated the soil and 
deposited the requisite quantity of mud. After the water in the 
river has subsided, that in the basins may either be discharged into 
the river or into the canals, or it may be used for filling other ba- 
sins lying at a lower level. During these operations many of the 
villages are connected by means of embankments only, while others 
can only be reached by boat , and the whole country presents a 
very peculiar and picturesque appearance. 

If the river and the system of canals connected with it are in 
any way neglected, the consequences are very disastrous, as was 
notably the case during the latter part of the Byzantine supremacy 
and under the disgraceful sway of the Mamelukes, when the fertile 
soil of Egypt yielded less than one-half of its average produce. The 
mean difference between the highest and the lowest state of the 
river is about 25 ft. at Cairo. 38 ft. at Thebes, and 49 ft. at Assuan. 
Even in March and April the traveller will have an opportunity of 
observing how powerful and rapid the flow of the river still is 


although its fall from Assuan (by the first cataract) to Cairo is 
299 ft. only, or about seven inches per mile. The rapidity of the 
stream, however, which averages 3 miles an hour, is not so serious 
an impediment to the navigation as the frequent changes which 
take place in the formation of its channel, sometimes occasioning 
difficulties which the most careful of captains is unable to foresee. 
If we now enquire what influence this remarkable river has 
exercised on the history of civilisation, we can hardly avoid the 
conclusion that it was the Nile, with its unique character, that 
stimulated the ancient Egyptians to those great physical and in- 
tellectual exertions which rendered them the most famous and the 
most civilised among the nations of antiquity. The necessity of 
controlling its course and utilising its water taught them the art of 
river-engineering and the kindred science of land-surveying, while 
in the starry heavens they beheld the eternal calendar which regu- 
lated the approach and the departure of the inundation, so that the 
river may perhaps have given the first impulse to the study of 
astronomy. As the annual overflow of the water obliterated all land- 
marks, it was necessary annually to measure the land anew, and to 
keep a register of the area belonging to each proprietor ; and above 
all it became an important duty of the rulers of the people to im- 
press them with a strong sense of the sacredness of property. Every 
succeeding year , however , there arose new disputes , and these 
showed the necessity of establishing settled laws and enforcing 
judicial decisions. The Nile thus led to the foundation of social, 
legal, and political order, and it is also natural that the mighty and 
mysterious river on which the welfare of the entire population de- 
pended should have awakened their religious sentiment at a very 
early period. Subsequently, when the engineers and architects, in 
the service of the state or in the cause of religion , erected those 
colossal structures with which we are about to become acquainted, 
it was the Nile which materially facilitated the transport of their 
materials, and enabled the builders of the pyramids and the other 
ancient Egyptians to employ the granite of Assuan for the structures 
of Memphis, and even for those of Tanis, on the coast of the Medi- 
terranean. As the river, moreover, not only afforded a convenient 
route for the transport of these building materials, but also an ad- 
mirable commercial highway, we find that the Egyptians had acquired 
considerable skill at a very early period in constructing vessels 
with oars, masts, sails, and even cabins and other appliances. 

From the earliest historical period down to the present time the 
course of the Nile, from the cataracts down to its bifurcation to the north 
of Cairo (the ancient Kerkasoros, i.e. the mutilation of Osiris), has under- 
gone very little change. This, however, is not the case with its Em- 
bouchures; for, while ancient writers mention seven (the Pelusiac, the 
Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Bucolic or Phatnitic, the Sehennytic, the 
Bolbitinic, and the Canopic), there are now practically two channels only 
through which the river is discharged into the sea. These are the 
mouths at Eosetta (Reshid) and Damietta (Dumyat), situated near the 


middle of the Delta, while the Pelusiac and Canopic mouths, the most 
important in ancient times , lay at the extreme east and west ends of 
the coast respectively. The water was afterwards gradually compelled 
to seek other outlets. The Pelusiac arm found a convenient exit through 
the Phatnitic near Damietta, while the Canopic was artificially conducted 
into the Bolhitinic. All the principal arms of ancient times at length en- 
tirely disappeared , combining to form the modern outlets. These last 
will in their turn be abandoned , as the river will doubtless again force 
for itself a more direct passage with a greater fall. 

Geological Notice (by Prof. Zittel). (1) Egypt Pkopek. There is no 
exaggeration in the often repeated saying that Egypt is 'the gift of the 
Nile'. But for the bounties dispensed by the river, what is now the most 
fertile country in N. Africa would be a wilderness of bare rock or sand. 
With the greatest height attained by the inundation and the extreme 
length of the irrigation canals corresponds precisely the line which di- 
vides the Sahara from the cultivated land. The whole of the alluvial 
soil deposited by the Nile is an entirely foreign element in the geologi- 
cal structure of N. Africa , and its geological character is uniform and 
easily determined. 

The origin, composition, and thickness of the alluvium has already 
been stated. The perpendicular, black, and furrowed mud-banks, which 
often rise to a height of 25-35 ft., are composed of distinct parallel strata 
of somewhat different colours, with thin layers of sand occasionally in- 
tervening. In Lower Egypt the mud is rather more thinly spread over 
the whole Delta, in the form of a blackish or reddish-brown laminated 
mass, a few isolated spots only remaining uncovered. 

Wherever the ground is denuded of its alluvium, apart from which 
there is no permanent soil in Egypt, it is absolutely sterile; for in this 
hot and dry country there is no winter , with its protecting mantle of 
snow, to retard the decomposition of vegetable matter, and to promote 
its admixture with disintegrated rock, so as to form fertile soil. Owing 
to the want of vegetation and moisture, without which the progress of 
disintegration is reduced to a minimum, the surface of the naked rock 
in Egypt and the neighbouring deserts retains its character almost un- 
altered. The huge masses of debris observed at the foot of the rocks in 
the valley of the Nile, and particularly at the mouths of the wadies, and 
the curious isolated hills with which every traveller through the desert 
is struck, could not possibly have been formed during the present state 
of the Egyptian climate. They prove that at some pre-historic period 
the now parched and sterile ground must have been overflowed by co- 
pious volumes of water which produced these and various other effects 
on the appearance of the earth's surface. 

The geologist will find little to attract his attention in the alluvial 
soil of Egypt; but on the sea-coast, and in that part of the isthmus which 
is intersected by the canal, there are several points of interest. 

On entering the harbour of Alexandria the traveller will observe the 
massive blocks of stone from the quarries of Meks of which the quays 
are constructed. They consist of recent tertiary, light-coloured, sandy 
limestone, composed chiefly of innumerable broken fragments of con- 
chylia, a kind of rock which extends far to the W. of Alexandria, and 
probably constitutes the greater part of the lofty Cyrensean plain. This 
rock forms the building-stone generally used at Alexandria, and is also 
employed in the harbour-structures of Port Sa'id. 

Amidst the desert sand of the isthmus , which even in Lower Egypt 
forms a substratum underlying the Nile mud, and which in the E. part of 
the desert is nearly covered with a solid gypseous and saline crust , the 
rock occasionally crops up , or has been uncovered in the course of the 
excavation of the canal. Near the Shaluf station (p. 432) a greenish-grey, 
gypseous marl overlies the solid limestone, which contains the tertiary 
marine conchylia, sharks' teeth, and remains of crocodiles and am- 
phibious mammalia. The same formation occurs in other places also, 
and ridges of the early tertiary nummulite limestone likewise occasionally 


rise from the plain. At several points on the coast of the Red Sea, 
particularly near Koser, at a height of 600-950 ft. above the sea-level, we 
find rock of the late tertiary or diluvial era containing coral, which 
shows how much the land must have risen since that period. With these 
coral-reefs the petroleum wells of Gebel ez-Zet and the sulphur which 
occurs on the Ras el-Gimsah appear to he closely connected. 

To the miocene , or middle tertiary period, belong several isolated 
deposits of sandstone near Cairo , in which are found the beautiful fos- 
sil sea-urchins (Clypeaster Aegyptiacus) frequently offered for sale near 
the Pyramids. The place where they occur, on the margin of the 
desert, about 2 M. to the S. of the Sphinx, has been visited and de- 
scribed by Prof. Fraas. 

One of the principal geological curiosities near Cairo is the Petri- 
fied Forest (comp. p. 339). About 5 M. to the E. of the town begins the 
Khashab ('wood') desert, the surface of which for many miles is sprinkled 
with whole trunks and fragments of silicified wood. Few travellers go 
beyond the 'small' petrified wood; the 'great' lies about 20 M. to the 
E. of Cairo. 'The desert here is so completely covered with trunks, 
that, except the fine sand itself, no other kind of stone is visible than 
the flint into which the Nicoliae have been converted'. (Fraas.) Trunks 
of 60-90 ft. in length and 3 ft. in thickness have sometimes been found. 
These have been described by Unger as Nicolia Aegyptiaca (of the family 
of the Sterculiaceae), but, according to more recent investigations, it 
would seem that the forest contained various other trees also (palms and 
dicotyledonous plants). Whether the trunks have grown and been silici- 
fied on the spot, or were brought here by inundations from the south, is 
still an open question. At all events these remarkable deposits date 
from the late tertiary period. 

Above Cairo, to the S. , the Nile is flanked by ranges of hills, the 
valley between which is generally 4-9 M. in width. On the east side of 
the Nile begins the Arabian, and on the west side the Libyan desert, 
both of which are very inhospitable , being ill provided with water, and 
covered at places only with scanty vegetation. From the northernmost 
spur of the Arabian desert (the Mokattam near Cairo) to a point above 
Edfu, both banks of the Nile consist of early tertiary nummulite lime- 
stone. The strata dip gradually from south to north, so that the farther 
we ascend the Nile the older are the strata that we meet with. The 
limestone of the Mokattam, with its millions of nummulites, is the ma- 
terial of which the new buildings of the European suburbs of Cairo are 
constructed, and it was from the venerable quarries of Tura and Ma'- 
sara that the ancient Egyptians obtained the stone for their pyramids. 
The blocks for these stupendous structures were conveyed to them by 
means of a huge stone dyke, of which all trace has now disappeared. On 
the Mokattam, near Minyeh, Beni Hasan, Siut, Thebes, Esneh, and at 
other places the limestone is rich in fossils, and in the vicinity of Cairo 
geologists can easily form a considerable collection of them. The quar- 
rymen on the Mokattam offer visitors fossil crabs (Xanthopsis Paulino- 
Wiit'tembergicus) and sharks' teeth for a moderate bakhshish. 

To the south of Edfu the nummulite limestone disappears, being re- 
placed by marl and rocks of calcareous and sandy character , which, 
according to Figari-Bey , contain chalk fossils. After these we come to 
quartzose sandstone, belonging to the middle chalk formation, and form- 
ing considerable cliffs at the Gebel Selseleh, which confine the river 
within a narrow bed. 

This last formation, known as 'Nubian sandstone', which covers 
many thousands of square miles of Nubia and the Sudan, was the ma- 
terial almost exclusively used for the construction of the ancient temples 
of Upper Egypt; and near Selseleh, and in the Arabian desert between 
Keneh and Koser, are still to be seen the extensive quarries which yielded 
ihe material for the colossal structures of Thebes. 

From Assuan to Selseleh the Nile flows through Nubian sandstone, 
but near the ancient Syene a transverse barrier of granite and 'syenite' 
advances from the east, forming the boundary between Egypt and Nubia. 


This barrier extends eastwards for about 180 miles, forming a very ir- 
regular chain of barren hills 900-1300 ft. in height. 

The Nile has forced a passage for itself through this hard rock, ex- 
posing to view at places the beautiful red felspar crystals which it con- 
tains, and forms a wild cataract at Assuan. Near the cataracts are the 
deserted quarries of the ancient Egyptians, where to this day we still 
observe a number of unfinished gigantic obelisks, and columns half hewn 
out of the solid rock. 

(2) The Arabian Desert. Parallel with the coast of the Red Sea , a 
broad and massive range of mountains, consisting of crystalline rocks 
(granite, syenite, diorite, porphyry, hornblende slate, gneiss, mica-slate, 
etc.), runs through the Arabian Desert, sending forth numerous ramifi- 
cations into the interior of the country. At Hammamat, on the caravan- 
route from Koser to Thebes , we pass the quarries whence the dark- 
coloured stone (aphanite, diorite, and verde antico) used for the ancient 
sarcophagi and sphinxes was obtained by the Egyptian sculptors. Near 
the Red Sea, almost opposite the southern extremity of the peninsula of 
Sinai, rises the Gebel Dukhan, which yielded the beautiful red porphyry 
(porfldo rosso) so highly prized by the Greeks and Romans at a later 
period, and used by them for vases, columns, sarcophagi, busts, and 
mosaics. The granite quarries of the Gebel Fatireh yielded both building 
stone and copper. Most celebrated of all, however, were the emerald mines 
of the Gebel Zebara, situated on the Red Sea in the latitude of Selseleh. 

This extensive range of mountains of crystalline formation , rising to 
a height of 6600 ft. , of which those of the peninsula of Sinai form a 
counterpart, terminates towards the east in roof-shaped, stratified for- 
mations. At first there occurs a considerable stratum of Nubian sandstone, 
next to which we find a series of clayey and calcareous strata, identified 
by Figari-Bey with the Triassic and Jura formations, probably errone- 
ously, as the collection of specimens of the rock at Florence shows that 
apparently the chalk alone is completely developed!*" These strata are 
succeeded by extensive masses of limestone, belonging to the nummulite 
formation, and stretching to the Nile. Among these last formations is 
found the pale yellow, brownish, and snow-white alabaster, a kind of 
limestone composed of nodulous masses, which was formerly quarried at 
the ancient Alabastron near Siut, and still occurs on the Gebel Urakam 
near Beni-Suef. In the reign of Mohammed f Ali this alabaster was largely 
used in the construction of his alabaster mosque (p. 263), and it was ex- 
tensively exported in ancient times for the embellishment of buildings 
and for sculptural purposes. Blocks of it are even found among the 
ruins of the Oasis of Ammon. 

These extensive mountains, with their numerous profound ravines 
and boldly shaped masses of rock, impart a most imposing character to 
the Arabian Desert. This region is by no means so destitute of vege- 
tation as is usually supposed; for, although without oases, it contains, 
particularly in the N. part, a number of springs and natural cisterns, 
which are filled by the rare, but often copious, rains of winter. 

(3). The Libyan Desert. This region again presents an entirely dif- 
ferent character. It consists of an immense, monotonous, and stony table- 
land, b50-1000 ft. above the level of the Nile, extending between the Nile 
and the oases of Khargeh , Dakhel , Farafra, and Bahriyeh. Throughout 
this vast area there occur neither mountains, nor valleys, nor even iso- 
lated hills of any considerable height ; and there is no trace of crystal- 
line or volcanic formations. The surface of the desert rises in gradations, 
each preceded by a broad girdle of isolated mounds, which have been 
obviously formed by erosion the materials having been washed down 
from the adjoining plateau. The whole of this stony and absolutely un- 
watered plain, the monotony of which is only varied by a few solitary 
ranges of sand-hills , consists of nummulite limestone. In the direction 
of the oases it descends in precipitous slopes, furrowed with numerous 
ravines, and occasionally nearly 1000 ft. in height. The different st ata 
of the earlier nummulite formation, as well as those of the upper chalk 
are here exposed to view, and generally contain numerous fossils The 


oases , particularly those of Dakhel and Khargeh , are remarkable for 
their fossil wealth. The soil of the deep depressions in which these 
oases lie, partly below the level of the Nile, consists of the variegated 
clayey or sandy strata of the upper chalk. The ground is so strongly 
impregnated with alum at places that it was thought worth while about 
thirty years ago to erect manufactories for its preparation, but the un- 
dertaking was afterwards abandoned owing to the difficulties of transport. 
Numerous thermal springs well up from the upper strata of the chalk, and 
the soil thus irrigated is luxuriantly clothed with vegetation (see p. 64). 

The barrier of Nubian sandstone which abuts on the valley of the 
Nile at Selseleh extends far into the Libyan desert. It forms the south- 
western boundary of the oases of Khargeh and Dakhel, beyond which it 
stretches for an unknown distance into the heart of the desert. This for- 
mation contains silicified wood and iron and manganese ores in abundance. 

About six days' journey to the W. of the oases begins a complete 
ocean of sand. As far as the eye can reach we discover nothing but 
a vast expanse of loose yellow sand , which generally forms itself into 
ranges of sand-hills, many miles in length, and occasionally rising to a 
height of 300 ft. or upwards above the level of the plain. 

The oasis of Farafra lies in a recess eroded in the nummulite lime- 
stone , and enclosed by precipitous slopes, except on the S. side where 
there is an opening. To the N. and W. of Farafra extends the eo- 
cene limestone plateau as far as the neighbourhood of Siwa, between 
which oasis and Bahriyeh it is remarkable for its numerous basin-shaped 
and sharply defined' depressions. These basins, especially those which 
are filled with salt-lakes, impart a peculiarly attractive character to the 
scenery. The whole of the desert around the Oasis of Amnion consists 
of recent tertiary deposits, the fossil wealth of which was once extolled 
by Herodotus and Eratosthenes. 

Approximately speaking, the Libyan Desert consists of Nubian sand- 
stone , the upper chalk , the nummulite limestone , and the more recent 
tertiary formations , arranged in this sequence , and extending in broad 
successive strips from S.8.E. to N.N.W. 

The Oases (by Prof. P. Ascherson). In the midst of the Libyan De- 
sert, the most bleak and desolate part of the whole of the African Sa- 
hara, at a distance of several days' journey to the W. of the Nile, 
there have existed since hoar antiquity a number of highly favoured 
spots, which are abundantly irrigated by subterranean supplies of water, 
and richly covered with vegetation almost vying in luxuriance with that 
of the valley of the Nile. The Coptic word 'Wah', according to Brugsch, 
is of ancient Egyptian origin, and signifies an inhabited station; in its 
Greek form 'oasis' (properly Ouaui; or Aoaji;), the word is used as the 
geographical term for irrigated and cultivable spots, or islands of vege- 
tation, in the midst of the stony and sandy ocean of the desert. 

Four of the five Egyptian oases lie in a somewhat curved line drawn 
from S.E. to N.W. , and converging at the S. end to the valley of 
the Nile : — (1) Wdh el-Khdrgeh, i.e. 'the outer oasis' (already so named 
by Olympiodorus in the 5th cent. A.D.), or Oasis Major of antiquity, 
situated 3-4 days journey from Thebes or from Girgeh on the Nile. (2) 
Wdh ed-Ddkheliyeh, or more commonly Ddkhel, i.e. the 'inner oasis' (also so 
named by Olympiodorus), 3 days' journey to the W. of Khargeh, and about 
6 days' journey from the valley of the Nile near Siut. (3) Fardfra (i.e. the 
bubbling springs), about 5 days' journey to the N.N.W. of Dakhel, and 8-10 
days' journey from the valley of the Nile near Siut. (4) Siwa, anciently 
the celebrated oasis of Jupiter Amnion, 16 days' journey to the W.S.W. of 
Alexandria and about 14 from Cairo. The direct route from Siwa to 
Farafra (traversed by Kohlfs and Zittel in 1874 in 10'/2 days) is little 
known as yet, as most European travellers make the long circuit towards 
the E. via. — (5) Wdh el-Bahriyeh , i.e. 'the northern oasis', or Oasis 
Minor of antiquity, situated 5V2 days' journey to the S.W. of Medinet el- 
Fayum, about 4 days' journey from Behneseh in the valley of the Nile, 
9 days from Siwa, and 5 days from Farafra. 


The oases always lie at a considerably lower level than the stony 
plateau of the desert, which rises above them in picturesque rocky pre- 
cipices, and the oasis of Siwa is about 78 ft. below the sea-level. The 
flat surfaces of these depressions do not always form a single 
cultivated area, but consist, even in the case of the smallest oases like 
Farafra, of a number of comparatively small parcels of cultivable soil, 
separated by belts of sterile ground. One of the large oases, like that 
of Khargeh , when surveyed from the neighbouring heights , presents the 
appearance of a large expanse of desert, flecked with isolated spots of 
light and dark green, the former being fields of corn and other crops, 
and the latter palm-groves. These islands of vegetation , the extent of 
which depends on the copiousness of the springs in their midst and the 
amount of care used in the distribution of the water , have often since 
the time of Strabo been not inaptly compared to the spots on a pan- 
ther's skin, but the simile applies to the oases individually, and not to 
those of the Libyan desert as a whole , as they are but few in number 
and very far apart. 

As already observed , these Libyan oases owe their fertility to the 
copiousness of their water supply. Inexhaustible subterranean channels, 
or an immense reservoir, perhaps common to all the oases, are believed 
to connect them with the Nubian Nile, or possibly with the Sudan ; and 
of this supply it is probable that a very limited portion only comes to 
the surface in the form of springs. Within the last thirty years Hasan- 
Effendi, a well-digger from the valley of the Nile, and formerly servant 
to a French engineer, has sunk about sixty new wells in the oasis of 
Dakhel, some of which, though close to older wells , do not seem to di- 
minish the copiousness of the latter. With the aid of this additional 
supply a large area of sterile soil has been brought under cultivation, and 
it is therefore probable that by means of Artesian wells , such as those 
sunk by the French in the Algerian oases, the extent of the cultivable soil 
might still be largely increased. The high temperature of the water, 
both in the natural springs and in the wells, shows that it comes from 
a great depth; and it is strongly impregnated with mineral ingredients, 
as in the case of the bath-springs of Kasr Dakhel and Bahriyeh (97° Fahr.), 
and the beautiful sun-spring ('Ain Hammam) at Siwa (85°) , the curative 
properties of which, owing to their remote situation, are seldom utilised. 
At Bahriyeh the stratum from which the water more immediately bursts 
forth seems to lie at no great depth below the surface of the soil. The 
thermal waters of Dakhel contain iron , and , like those of Farafra and 
Khargeh , are not unpleasant to drink when cooled ; but the water of 
Siwa is brackish and nauseous to the taste. The wells are generally 
very deep (90-320 ft. and upwards), and in ancient times the inhabitants 
of the oases , as we are informed by Olympiodorus , were celebrated for 
their skill in sinking them. The invasion of the Arabs, however, was suc- 
ceeded by several centuries of barbarism, during which the art of boring 
wells was well nigh forgotten ; many wells were filled up, and extensive 
tracts of cultivated land, still traceable by the old divisions of the fields, 
were abandoned ; but , as above mentioned, the practice is beginning to be 
revived. The considerable force with which the water comes up from 
its profound reservoirs enables the inhabitants to construct wells or ar- 
tificial dams on the highest parts of the oases. The fields are always 
arranged in terraces of picturesque appearance , over which the fertilis- 
ing element is conducted downwards in succession, so that the laborious 
system of sakiyehs and shadvifs used in the valley of the Nile is dispensed 
with. Among the southern oases, on the other hand, we frequently ob- 
serve extensive water-conduits, carried by artificial embankments to long 
distances for the purpose of conveying the precious liquid over ste- 
rile salt ground to good soil, or necessitated by the requirements of the 
curiously involved rights of property. These conduits not unfrequently 
cross each other at different levels. The springs are generally the pro- 
perty of the communities , rarely that of wealthy individuals ; and it is 
in proportion to their number, and that of the date-palms, that the in- 
habitants have to pay taxes, while the soil itself is nominally free. 


Where the springs are common property, the periodica] distrihntion of 
the water has from time immemorial formed the subject of statutory re- 
gulations. The cultivable land consists of open fields and of gardens, 
which are carefully enclosed with earthen walls about 6 ft. high, crowned 
with twisted palm-leaves, for the purpose of keeping out intruders, or are 
more rarely hedged in with branches of the sunt or other thorny plant. 

In the oases, as in the valley of the Nile, a regular rotation of win- 
ter and summer crops is observed (comp. p. 72), although, with their 
uniform supply of water , there is not the same necessity for it. The 
winter crops are wheat and barley ; those of summer are rice , dura 
(Sorghum vulgare), and a small proportion of dukhn ( Penicillaria spicata), 
while in Dakhel and Khargeh indigo is grown in considerable quantities. 
Cotton is also cultivated to a small extent, but the yield is hardly ade- 
quate for even the local requirements. By far the most important fruit 
yielded by the gardens is that of the date-palm. The delicious dates 
are very superior to those of the Nile valley, and they form, particularly 
at Dakhel and Siwa , the only important article of export. Olive-trees 
also occur in all the oases, especially in Farafra , Bahriyeh , and Siwa, 
where they yield a considerable quantity of oil, besides which there are 
apricots, oranges, lemons, and melons, but very few other fruit trees. 
The ordinary vegetables grown in the valley of the Nile, such as lettuces, 
cabbages , and kulkas , are never met with ; nor have the recently in- 
troduced sugar-cane and the beautiful lebbek acacia (p. 76) yet found 
their way to the oases. The venerable sunt-trees (p. 77) form a very 
characteristic feature of the southern oases. ' They generally shade the 
wells, or the sites of old wells now filled up owing to neglect, and they 
indicate the course of the water-conduits to the still distant traveller. 

The most prominent of the indigenous plants of the oases is the r oshr 
(Calotropis procera), which is also common on the banks of the Nile in 
Upper Egypt. It is a broad-leaved shrub or small tree, attaining a height 
of 6 ft. or more, with a copious milky and very poisonous sap, and round 
fruit of the size of a large apple containing woolly seeds, and known on 
the banks of the Dead Sea as the 'apple of Sodom'. 

The indigenous animals of the oases are much fewer in number than 
those of the valley of the Nile. The only large mammal that occurs is 
the gazelle, which is also found in the sterile parts of the Libyan desert. 
The only beasts of prey are several varieties of jackals (Arab, dib) and 
foxes (Arab, ta'leb). Among the latter is the pretty fenek, which is only 
half the size of the European fox, yellowish-grey in colour, and with 
ears longer than the breadth of the head. Hyenas seem to be unknown, 
except in Bahriyeh. The timid ostrich rarely visits the Libyan oases. 

The domestic animals kept by the inhabitants of the oases consist of 
a few horses, numerous donkeys of a small and weakly type, which will 
not bear comparison with their strong and active congeners of Alexandria 
and Cairo, and a few oxen, sheep, and goats. Buffaloes are also kept in 
Khargeh and a few in Bahriyeh. It is surprising how few camels are to 
be found in the oases , but it is said that the bite of a certain fly en- 
dangers their lives in summer. Turkeys and fowls are plentiful. 

The population of the oases is not of a uniform character. According 
to Brugsch, the original inhabitants were Libyan (or Berber) tribes, but 
after the oases were annexed to Egypt many new settlers were introduced 
from the valley of the Nile and from Nubia. The Berber nationality of 
the inhabitants of the oasis of Ammon, notwithstanding its having been 
connected with Egypt for several thousand years and its reception of 
immigrants from the west in the middle ages, is still very marked, while 
the population of the other oases , like that of the Nile valley, has 
adopted the Arabic language. In Bahriyeh (where, besides the natives of 
the place, there is a colony of Siwanese who still speak the Berber dia- 
lect) and Farafra the physiognomic type of the Berber race still predom- 
inates ; in Dakhel the features of most of the population are not ma- 
terially different from the fellah type ; while in Siwa , through which 
the great caravan route from Alexandria and Cairo via Murzuk to the 
Sudan leads, and in Khargeh, which lies on the route to Dar-Fiir, the 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 5 


admixture of negro blood imparts its unmistakable stamp to the features 
of the inhabitants. There are no Coptic settlers in the oases , bat they 
are sometimes temporarily met with there in the capacity of merchants 
or government clerks; and Europeans are still more rarely encountered. 
The population of the oases is comparatively small (Khargeh, according 
to Schweinfurth, possessing 6340 souls; according to Rohlfs , Dakhel 
17,000, Farafra 320, Bahriyeh about 6000, and Siwa 5600), and the narrow 
limits of the cultivable soil prevents it from increasing ; but a more 
auspicious era may now be in store for these isolated communities if 
they follow the example set by the inhabitants of Dakhel by sinking 
fresh wells and thus extending their territory. As a rule , even in the 
most favourably circumstanced oasis of Dakhel , the physique of the 
population is poor and stunted, owing partly to their almost exclusive 
vegetable diet (of which Prof. Virchow has found evidence in the condition 
of the teeth of skulls from the ancient tombs of Dakhel), and partly to the 
unhealthiness of the climate, which has been notorious from the remotest 
antiquity. In the early Egyptian period, and also during the domination 
of the Roman emperors , the oases were generally used as places of 
banishment, partly because their isolation rendered escape well nigh im- 
possible, and partly perhaps because the climate was expected to aggra- 
vate the misery of the exiles. The overplus of the water used for agri- 
cultural purposes forms a series of marshes, ponds, and lakes on the sa- 
line soil, and these last contribute greatly to the picturesqueness of the 
landscape in Siwa , which is farther enhanced by a number of isolated 
rocky heights; but the exhalations of these watery tracts in summer 
are very unhealthy. Within the last few centuries this evil has been 
aggravated by neglect, and the artificial swamps required for the rice 
cultivation are fraught with additional danger. Some measure for utilis- 
ing the superfluous water, or at least rendering it harmless , is perhaps 
more urgently needed for the well-being of the oases than an increase 
of the water supply. Under present circumstances Europeans had better 
abstain from visiting the oases from the beginning of April till the end 
of November, but in the winter months they may visit them safely. 
With regard to the construction of the dwellings in the oases it may 
be remarked that they all have more or less the character of town- 
houses, as, even at the present day, the unsafe state of the country requires 
them to be strongly built in close proximity to each other. Instead of the 
low hovels of the Nile valley, we therefore find in all the oases houses 
of several stories in height, somewhat rudely built of mud (and some- 
times of stone, as at Bahriyeh) and palm logs. A curious feature of these 
towns (recurring in the 'other oases of the Sahara also, as, for example, 
in the famous commercial town of Ghadames, to the S.W. of Tripoli) 
is the covered streets running under the upper stories of the houses, 
and sometimes of such length as to be perfectly dark. As, moreover, 
like most Oriental streets , they are generally crooked , it is hardly 
prudent for a stranger to venture into them without a guide. The main 
street of the town of Siwa winds in this manner up the rocky eminence 
on which the houses are built, and the place is indeed in this respect 
one of the most curious in the East. 

As is usually the case with places lying at a distance from the outer 
world, the government of these communities is in the hands of the most 
respectable and wealthy members ; and at Farafra this paternal oligarchy 
is under the control of no government. Even at Siwa the Mudir appointed 
by the Egyptian goverment finds it difficult to assert his authority and 
it is only the interminable and sometimes bloody quarrels of the leading 
parties of the Lifayeh and the Gharbin (of whom the latter, as the name 
indicates, are immigrants from the west) that afford him an opportunity 
of interposing in his judicial capacity. In the other oases also down to 
the middle of the present century, the power of the government officials 
was always to a great extent paralysed by that of the obstinate shekhs ■ 
but after the repression of the Beduin revolt Sa'id Pasha succeeded 
in firmly establishing the viceregal authority in the oases also Since 
that period peace has reigned throughout the oases, and as the pressure 

Rain. CLIMATE. 67 

of taxation is not nearly so heavily felt here as in the valley of the 
Nile the inhabitants are comparatively wealthy. Of late years, how- 
™™V 7 a 6 oc / asio, ; a "y suffered from the predatory attacks of 
nomadic marauders from the Cyrenaica, and even by the Arabs of the Nile 
^tV&t£r7* dlsturbin S ^lenient, too, has unfortunately sprung up 
ment a nfl a M year % ln ^ SlW c a ' ? ahri y eh , and Farafra, in tne establish- 
ment and rapid spread of the Senfisi order of Mohammedans , by whom 
the introduction of all Christian culture is bitterly opposed. This re- 
Ig 1 . ™ ° r . d " was founded about the middle of the present century by 
■Sidi Snusi (or Senusi, as the name is pronounced in Eastern Africa, where 
the vowels are more distinctly pronounced than by the Moghrebbins of 
Algeria and Morocco), a talib (or scripture scholar) of Tlemsen in Al- 
geria, for the purpose of restoring the observance of Islam to its oriei- 
™ a «L P i? r y '/Ji ' ab ? Ve a11 ' of warrin g against Christianity. Although the 
members of the order are regarded by other Mohammedan sects as Khoms, 
or Heretics they have rapidly acquired great power in the districts sur- 
rounding the eastern Sahara, and, like the Jesuits in Christian countries, 
have amassed considerable wealth, their principal treasury being at Sara- 
bub, the chief seat ot the order, two days' journey to the W. of Siwa 
barabub is also the residence of Sidi-Mahdi, the general of the order and 
son of its founder, who has succeeded in obtaining certain privileges 
from the Sultan of Turkey. At Siwa he has established a richly endowed 
/awiyeh, or school of religion; at Farafra the Zawiveh is all-powerful 
L a w n f^i ? ft™ yearS of its existen °e bought up a considerable 
part of _ the landed property there; and at Bahriyeh the order has suc- 
ceeded in monopolising the schools, so that the rising generation may be 
expected to succumb to their influence. The hostility of this new sect 
V C *? ode , rn c V lture 1S obviously a serious obstacle to the progress 
which the Egyptian government is now anxious to promote. 

Climate. The climate of Egypt is to some extent influenced by 
the great artery on which the country's life depends, but the desert 
may be regarded as its chief regulator. But for the immense ab- 
sorbing power of the desert the winter rains of the Mediterranean 
regions would extend far up the Nile valley; and, but for its prox- 
imity, the great expanse of nearly stagnant water at the mouths of 
the Nile, covering an area of upwards of 2500 sq. M., would render 
the Delta one of the most unhealthy and uninhabitable regions in 
the world. The air of the desert is pleasantly cool, and possesses 
the most refreshing and health-giving qualities ; indeed, to borrow 
Bayard Taylor's expression, it is a true 'elixir of life'. To the deli- 
cious purity of the airt of the desert a kind of parallel is afforded 
by the excellence of the water of the life-giving Nile. 

Rain, throughout a great part of Egypt proper, is a very rare 
phenomenon. At Cairo the fogs of winter are rarely condensed into 
showers of any duration, and the rain occasionally blown inland 
from the sea seldom lasts long. Observations carried on at Cairo 
for five years show a mean annual rainfall of only li/ 2 inch, while 
the mean at Alexandria for a period of fourteen years was 8 inches. 
The unusual frequency of rain during the last few years has been 
absurdly attributed to the great increase of the area planted with 

■.n-VLTi h % notic t ? d ? ere that th e air is largely impregnated with 
saline particles from the limestone rocks of the desert, and it is chiefly 
to their presence that the beneficial effect of the air on the respiratory 
organs is supposed to be due. 

68 CLIMATE. Rain. 

trees, a boon which the country owes to the government of the Khe- 
dive Isma'il. The winters of these same years were also unusually 
wet in Greece and other regions adjoining the Mediterranean where 
but little rain generally falls, so that the weather of these excep- 
tional seasons was doubtless affected by unknown climatic influ- 
ences extending far beyond the limits of Egypt. The recent for- 
mation of the extensive Bitter Lakes in the Isthmus of Suez has 
also no influence on the climate except in their own immediate 
neighbourhood. If the banks of the Red Sea still remain desert in 
spite of the huge evaporating surface beside them, what change 
of importance could be expected from the artificial creation of a 
few square miles of water? The whole of the base of the Delta 
lies within the region of the winter rains, which from January to 
April are blown inland by the then prevailing sea-breezes to a 
distance of 30-50 English miles. In Upper Egypt, on the other 
hand, rain is almost unknown, and it is not uncommon to meet 
with adult natives who have never seen a single shower. In that 
part of the country a thunder-shower, or perhaps the extreme fringe 
of the tropical rains, falls at rare intervals in April or May to the 
no small wonder of the natives. These showers are more frequent 
above the first cataract, and they recur regularly a little to the N. 
of New Donkola or r Ordeh (19° N. lat.), while to the S. of Shendi 
there is annually a short wet season, with its concomitants of malaria 
and fever. The rainfall in the deserts on each side of the Nile is very 
unequally distributed, but of these regions also it is approximately 
true that rain is of very partial and sporadic occurrence. Thus there 
are vast tracts of the Libyan desert which for years together derive 
their sole moisture from the damp north and north-westerly winds, 
and when the wind is in any other quarter they are even deprived 
of their nightly refreshment of dew. On the Arabian side the case 
is materially different. There, along the coast of the Red Sea, runs 
a Tange of mountains 4800-10,000 ft. in height, where occasional, 
but very violent showers fall between October and December, hol- 
lowing out the deep valleys which descend to the Nile. Although 
these desert rains are of too short duration permanently to affect 
the character of the country, their fertilising effect on the light and 
loose soil is far greater than if they had to penetrate a heavier soil 
covered with thick vegetation. 

As the year is divided in the valley of the Nile by the rise 
and fall of the river into two well-defined seasons, one when the 
soil is moist and easily cultivated, and the other when nothing 
will grow without artificial irrigation, so also it may be divided 
in accordance with the prevalent Winds into two different periods 
of eight and of four months. North winds prevail as a rule from 
the middle of June to the middle of February, and south ("S.E. 
and S.W.) during the rest of the year (while in the Red Sea the 
prevalent winds at these seasons are almost exactly in the reverse 

Temperature. CLIMATE. 69 

directions). Early in the afternoon of a day during the second of 
these seasons the wind, as is the case in all tropical regions, some- 
times rises to a hurricane, in which case it is called a 'Samum'. 
Of this wind there are two or three different varieties : (1) It is 
called a 'Shobeh' when it blows chiefly from the east, and (2) a 
'Merisi' when it comes directly from the south. In the latter case 
it is also sometimes called a 'Khamsin', hut this name more properly 
applies to the very hot, dry, and dust-laden winds which frequently 
blow unremittingly for one or two whole days together, and render 
the climate peculiarly trying in March and April (comp. p. 2). 

The name Khamasin , as it is more correctly written , is the plural 
of Khamsin, signifying 'fifty', and is applied to these winds in conse- 
quence of the fact that they prevail only during a period of fifty days 
before the summer solstice, after which they invariably cease. The Arabs 
confine this name to the period, and name the winds themselves shard. 
The wind to which the name is applied in winter affords but a feeble idea 
of the Khamsin of the hotter season, which forms the only disagreeable 
feature of the Egyptian climate, and one from which there is no escape. 
The impalpable sand finds its way into the most carefully closed rooms, 
boxes, and even watches, and the parching heat is most destructive to 
the blossoms of fruit-trees. 

In accordance with the Temperature the Egyptian year may 
also be divided into two seasons, a period of hot weather, lasting 
eight months (April to November), and a cool season of four months 
(December to March). Throughout the whole country the heat 
gradually increases from April till the middle or end of June, and 
many of the superstitious natives believe that a perceptible fresh- 
ening of the air takes place on the night of the 'dropping' (17th 
June ; see p. 239). In Alexandria the blowing of the N. N.W. wind 
sometimes interrupts the regular increase of the heat , so that the 
maximum may be reached as early as May or June or may be post- 
poned to September or October. The maximum heat in the Delta 
is about 95° Fahr. in the shade, in Upper Egypt about 109°. At 
Cairo the thermometer sometimes rises as high as 114° during the 
prevalence of the Khamsin. In December, January, and February 
the temperature is at its lowest, falling in the Delta to 35°, in Alex- 
andria to 40°, and in Upper Egypt to 41°. The quicksilver rarely 
sinks to the freezing-point, except in the desert and at night. On 
16th Feb. 1874, during Rohlfs' expedition in the Libyan desert, 
the thermometer fell to 23°. About sunrise the traveller will some- 
times find a thin coating of ice in his basin , or on neighbouring 
pools of water, where, owing to the rapid evaporation, the tempe- 
rature falls several degrees lower tEan in the surrounding air. As 
a rule, throughout the whole country, and at every season, the tem- 
perature is highest from 1 to 5 p.m., and lowest during the two 
hours before sunrise. The result of the observations of ten years has 
been that the mean temperature in the Delta and at Cairo is 58° Fahr. 
in winter, 78° in spring, 83° in summer, and 66° in autumn. M. 
Pirona's observations, carried on for fourteen years, fix the mean 
temperature on the coast near Alexandria at 60° in winter, 66° in 



spring, 77° in summer, and 74° in autumn. At Alexandria the sum- 
mer days are much cooler and the winter nights much warmer than 
at Cairo, hut the moisture of the air makes the heat much more op- 
pressive. In the drier air the constant absorption of moisture from the 
skin keeps the body at a much lower temperature than that of the 
surrounding air, and thus renders the great heat of the desert much 
more bearable than one would expect. The strong sea-breezes at 
Alexandria also make the heat of summer less oppressive than it is 
at many places on the Mediterranean situated much farther to the N. 
As three different thermometers are used in Europe, — those of 
Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Reaumur (1° F. = 5/ 9 ° C. = %° R.), — 
the traveller may find the following table convenient for reference. 















































































































































































































































































































































































Agriculture. I. Capabilities of the Soil. In the time of the 
Pharaohs the Egyptian agricultural year was divided into three 
equal parts, the period of the inundation (from the end of June to 
the end of October), that of the growing of the crops (from the end 
of October to the end of February), and that of the harvest (from 
the end of February to the end of June). At the present day there 
are two principal seasons, corresponding to our summer and winter 
besides which there is a short additional season, corresponding with 

Irrigation. AGRICULTURE. 71 

the late summer or early autumn of the European year. The land 
is extremely fertile, hut it is not so incapable of exhaustion as it is 
sometimes represented to be. Many of the crops, as elsewhere, must 
occasionally be followed by a fallow period ; others thrive only when 
a certain rotation is observed (such as wheat, followed by clover and 
beans) ; and some fields require to be artificially manured. Occa- 
sionally two crops are yielded by the same field in the same season 
(wheat and saffron, wheat and clover, etc. J. The recent great 
extension of the cultivation of the sugar-cane, which requires a 
great deal of moisture, and of the cotton-plant, which requires 
extremely little, has necessitated considerable modifications in the 
modes of irrigation and cultivation hitherto in use. As both of these 
crops are of a very exhausting character, the land must either be 
more frequently left fallow, or must be artificially manured. The 
industry and powers of endurance of the Egyptian peasantry are 
thus most severely tried, and no imported agricultural labourers 
could ever hope to compete with them, as has sometimes been 
thought possible. Although the homogeneous soil of the valley of 
the Nile breaks up of its own accord after its irrigation, and requires 
less careful tilling and ploughing than ours, it exacts more uni- 
form attention throughout the whole year, while its irrigation 
involves a great additional amount of labour to which the European 
farmer is quite unaccustomed. The increasing use of artificial 
manures, which were formerly but little known, is another source 
of great labour. As the country is thickly peopled and supports 
numerous cattle, there ought to be no lack of natural manure ; but, 
as the dung of the domestic animals is used as fuel throughout 
Egypt, where wood is very scarce, that of pigeons (p. 79) is almost 
the only kind available for agricultural purposes. An abundant 
source of manure is afforded by the ruins of ancient towns, which 
were once built of unbaked clay, but now consist of mounds of eaTth, 
recognisable only as masses of ruins by the fragments of pottery they 
contain. Out of these mounds, which conceal the rubbish of thou- 
sands of years, is dug a kind of earth sometimes containing as much 
as 12 per cent of saltpetre, soda, ammonia, and other salts. This 
manure possesses extremely fertilising properties, but if used at the 
wrong time or place is very injurious to the soil. 

II. Irrigation. The whole of the cultivable soil of Egypt is 
divided into two classes in accordance with its relative height 
above the surface of the Nile : (1) The l Rai', or fields which retain 
their moisture after the subsidence of the overflow long enough (or 
nearly long enough) to admit of the ripening of the crop without 
additional irrigation ; (2) The 'Sharaki 1 , or those which always 
require artificial irrigation. The irrigation is effected by means of : 
(1) The l Sakiyeh\ or large wheels (rarely exceeding 30 ft. in dia- 
meter), turned by domestic animals of various kinds, and fitted with 
scoops of wood or clay , resembling a dredging-machine. (In the 

72 AGRICULTURE. Agricultural Seasons. 

Fayum a peculiar kind of water-wheel is in use, so contrived as to 
be turned by the weight of the water.) According to Figari-Bey, 
the number of sakiyehs used in Central and Lower Egypt in 1864 
was about 50,000, which were turned and superintended by 200,000 
oxen and 100,000 persons, and which irrigated 4,500,000 acres of 
land. (2) The 'ShddHf\ an apparatus resembling that of an ordinary 
well, set in motion by one person only, and drawing the water in 
buckets resembling baskets in appearanee ; as a substitute for the 
sakiyeh several shadufs are sometimes arranged one above the other. 
(3) When it is possible to store the water in reservoirs above the 
level of the land to be watered, it is allowed to overflow the fields 
whenever required. This is the only method available in the oases, 
where fortunately the water rises from the springs with such force 
as to admit of its being easily dammed up at a sufficiently high 
level. (4) Pumps driven by steam are also used, particularly when 
a large supply of water is required, as in the case of the sugar- 
plantations on the 'Gefs' of the Nile in Northern Egypt, where they 
are seen in great numbers. (5) Lastly the ' Tdbut', a peculiar, very 
light, and easily moved wooden wheel, which raises the water by 
means of numerous fans, is used in the Lower Delta only and in 
places where the level of the water in the canals remains nearly 
the same. In order to distribute the water equally over flat fields, 
they are sometimes divided into a number of small squares by means 
of embankments of earth, 1 ft. in height, which, owing to the great 
plasticity of the Nile mud, are easily opened or closed so as to 
regulate the height of the water within them. 

Before describing the different Egyptian agricultural seasons, 
we must first observe that they are no longer so sharply defined as 
they probably were in ancient times. Besides the old. crops, there 
are now several others of recent introduction , and so extensively 
grown as in some measure to revolutionise the modes of cultivation. 
These are maize, rice, the sugar-cane, cotton, ramieh, and indigo. 
(This last plant was known to Pliny, but it was probably grown in 
his time only to a very limited extent.) The agrarian measures of 
the Egyptian government are all directed towards the emancipation 
of farming from its dependence upon the inundations, in order that 
every crop may be cultivated at the season in which it thrives 
best. The embankments and various apparatus for the regulation 
of the water supply, recently constructed or founded by the govern- 
ment, vie in importance with the greatest ancient works of the kind. 

III. Agricultural Seasons. (1) The Winter Crop, or 'Esh- 
Shitawi', grown exclusively on the 'Rai' land (p. 71), is sown 
immediately after the subsidence of the inundation, which takes 
place progressively from S. to N. In Upper Egypt seed-time ac- 
cordingly begins as early as the middle of October, in Central Egypt 
(from Siut to Cairo) at the beginning of November, and in the 
Delta about the end of December. The ground is seldom prepared 

Agricultural Seasons. AGRICULTURE. 73 

for sowing by the use of the plough. The seed is scattered over the 
still soft and moist soil, and is then either pressed into it by means 
of a wooden roller, beaten into it with pieces of wood, or trodden 
in by oxent. Throughout the whole country a period of four 
months elapses between seed-time and the completion of the har- 
vest. The winter harvest is, therefore, over in Upper Egypt about the 
middle of February, in Central Egypt about the middle of March, 
and in the Delta towards the end of April. In Upper and Central 
Egypt this is the most important harvest of the whole year. The 
principal crop everywhere is wheat (occupying 50 °/ of the fields 
in Upper Egypt and 30<y in the Delta), next to which are barley 
(in the proportion of 10 °/ and 14 o/ in these regions respectively), 
clover (10 o/ and 24% respectively), and broad beans (20 0/ and 
12°/ respectively). 

(2) The Summer Crops ('Es-SefV or '■El-Kldi) are much more 
varied than those of winter, but they are comparatively unimportant 
in Upper and Central Egypt, as the cultivable land in these regions 
is very narrow, and belongs chiefly to the 'Rai' category, two-thirds 
of it being under water during summer. In the Delta, on the other 
hand, summer is the farmer's most important season. The vege- 
tation with which its whole surface is densely clothed in June and 
July is marvellously rich and beautiful, thousands of magnificent 
trees clustered in groups afford delightful shelter from the fierce 
rays of the sun, and the eye ranges over an immense expanse teem- 
ing with luxuriant crops. Another charm of the country in summer 
consists in its abundantly stocked gardens and orchards : but of all 
these attractions the traveller who, like a bird of passage, merely 
seeks refuge in Egypt from the cold and rains of a northern winter 
cannot possibly form any adequate idea. At this season every dis- 

t The Agkiodltukal Implements of the Egyptians are exceedingly 
primitive and defective. The chief of these is the plough (mihr&t), the 
form of which is precisely the same as it was 5000 years ago ; and the 
traveller will recognise it on many of the monuments and in the system 
of hieroglyphics. It consists of a pole about 6ft. long, drawn by an ox, 
buffalo , or other beast of burden , attached to it by means of a yoke, 
while to the other end is fastened a piece of wood bent inwards at an 
acute angle, and shod with a three-pronged piece of iron (lisdn). Con- 
nected with the pole is the handle which is held by the fellah. These 
rude and light ploughs penetrate but slightly into the ground. (On the 
estates of the Khedive, Fowler's steam-plough is now frequently employed.) 
The harrow is replaced in Egypt by a roller provided with iron spikes 
(kumfud, literally 'hedgehog'). The only tool used by the natives on 
their fields, or in making embankments of earth, is a kind of hoe or shovel 
(migrafeh). The process of reaping consists of cutting the grain with a 
sickle, or simply uprooting it by hand. The nSrag, or 'threshing-sledge', 
consists of a kind of sledge resting on a roller provided with sharp semi- 
circular pieces of iron, and drawn by oxen or buffaloes. This primitive 
machine , being driven over the wheat , peas , or lentils to be threshed, 
crushes the stalks and ears and sets free the grain or seeds. The corn 
is separated from the fragments of straw by the careful removal of the 
latter, and by tossing it to and fro in a draughty place. The grain is 
afterwards passed through a sieve. 


trict of Egypt has its favourite crop ; in Upper Egypt , between 
Assuan andEsneh, the penicillaria, and in the Delta rice are chiefly 
cultivated ; while the peculiar looking indigo-plant, a rich profusion 
of grapes, and a plentiful growth of cucumbers and melons are seen 
in every part of the country. The summer cultivation, of which the 
'Sharaki' land alone is capable, is carried on from April to August ; 
but many of the plants grown at this season require a longer period 
of development, extending throughout the whole of the autumn 
and even part of the winter. This is particularly the case with the 
rice crop, which is sown in May, but does not attain maturity till 
the middle of November, and with the cotton-plant, sown in April, 
and harvested in November or December. A large quantity of cotton 
is also yielded by a second harvest from the pruned plant in the 
month of August, in the second year of its growth. Summer is also 
the principal season for the tobacco crop. 

(3) The Autumn Season ( 'En-No-bar? or L Ed-Dmuri '), as already 
observed, is of very subordinate importance, being sometimes oc- 
cupied, as in the case of rice and cotton, in bringing the summer 
crops to maturity. It is also the shortest season, extending to little 
more than seventy days ; and yet within this brief space the rich 
soil of the Delta yields its harvest of maize, which, next to wheat, 
is the most important of the Egyptian cereals. (The annual yield 
of these two grains is said to amount to 24 million bushels.) The 
autumn cultivation lasts from August to October, and sometimes 
till November. At the beginning of October, throughout the whole 
Delta from Suez to Alexandria, the traveller will observe an almost 
unbroken ocean of maize-fields, seldom varied except by the low 
villages, resembling mounds of earth, with their neighbouring palm 
groves. The picture of teeming fertility which the country then 
presents far surpasses that presented by the rich maize-flelds of 
south-eastern Europe. In Central Egypt maize is also an important 
summer crop. Along with it is sometimes cultivated the less com- 
mon Sorghum, or Dura, or Indian millet, which is eaten by the 
poorest fellahin only. It is, however, largely consumed by the Bed- 
uins on the Arabian side of the Nile, and in the Sudan and Nubia 
forms the chief food of the inhabitants. Another plant cultivated 
in autumn, rarely seen in Egypt, but common in the Sudan and 
Nubia, is the tropical Sesame, from which oil is largely prepared. 

4. Farm Produce of Egypt. The following is an enumeration of all 
the most important industrial crops cultivated within the boundaries of 
Egypt. On hearing the names of those with which he is unacquainted, the 
traveller may identify them with the aid of the Egyptian names given be- 
low. The various products are enumerated in the order of their importance. 

a. Cereals. 1. Wheat (kamh; that from the Delta, kamhbahri; from 
Upper Egypt, kamh sa'idi). 2. Maize (dura shdmi, i. e. .Syrian- 'called in 
Syria dura only). 3. Barley (sha'ir). 4. Rice (ruzz) , cultivated only in 
the lower part of the Delta of Alexandria and Rahmaniyeh as far as 
Mansiira, Zakazik, Salihiyeh, and in the Wadi Tumilat, and also in the 
Fayum and in the oases of the Libyan desert. 5. Sorghum vulgare (dura 
beledi, i. e. dura of the country; simply called dura in the Sudan- Ital. 



W sorgho, Engl, caffercom , and the Tyrolese ssVcft). 6. Penicillaria (dukhn). 

j. 7. Sorghum saccharatum. 

b. Podded Fkuits. 1. Broad beans (fill). 2. Lentils ('adas). 3. Chick- 
' n peas (hummus). 4. Lupins (tirmis). 5. Peas (bisilla). 6. Dolichos Lubia 

B (Idbiya). 7. Dolichos Lablab (lablab), which is very frequently seen fes- 

t| ( tooning walls and pinnacles, but is also grown in fields in separate plants. 

8. Vigna Sinensis. 9. White beans (Mbiya frengi). 10. Phaseolus Mungo. 
"! 11. Horse beans (Canavalia gladiata). 

ill c. Green Chops. 1. White Egyptian clover (bersim). 2. Fcenum 

g. Grsecum (helbeh, frequently ground into flour and used in making bread ; 

. also generally eaten raw by the natives in winter; not to be confounded 

"* with clover). 3. Medicago sativa, or lucerne (bersim hegdzi). 4. Lathyrus 

(ill sativus, or flat pea (gulbdn). 5. Sorghum halepense (gerau). 

^| d. Stimulants. 1. Virginian tobacco, or Nicotiana Tabacum (dukhdn 

' ahmar). 2. Peasant's tobacco , or Nicotiana rustica (dukhdn akhdar), 

3. Poppies , for the manufacture of opium (abu-num, or 'father of sleep'). 
It 4. Indian hemp (hashish; comp. p. 18). 

e. Textile Materials. 1. Cotton (koln), introduced from India in 

1821, but extensively cultivated since 1863 only. 2. Flax (kettdn). 3. Hemp 

(til). 4. Hibiscus cannabinus. 
[y f. Dies. 1. Indigo argentea, a peculiar kind (nileh). 2. Lawsonia 

inermis (henna), used for dyeing the nails , the palms of the hands , and 

the soles of the feet yellowish red (a very ancient custom , which has 
' recently been prohibited) ; properly a tree , but , like the tea-plant, 

cultivated in fields in the form of a dwarfed bush. 3. Saffron (kartam 

or 'os/ur). 4. Madder (ftia), cultivated in small quantities. 5. Reseda 

Luteola (bliya) , used as a yellow dye. 

g. Oil Plants. 1. Castor-oil plant (khirwa). 2. Sesame (sim-sim). 

3. Lettuce (khass), very largely cultivated. 4. Rape (selgam). 5. Chicory 

(hendebeh). 6. Mustard (khardal , or kabar). 7. Arachides , or earth-nuts 

(fill senndri, or simply fill). 8. Saffron (as an oil-yielding plant). 9. Poppy 
3 (as an oil-plant). 10. Garden cress, or Lepidium sativum (rishdd). 

] f h. Spices. 1. Capsicum annuum, the Italian peperone (filfil ahmar). 

2. Capsicum frutescens, or Cayenne pepper (shitela). 3. Aniseed (y'ansda, 

* or dnistin). 4. Coriander (kusbara). 5. Caraway (kemmdn). 6. Nigella 
u (kemmAii aswad). 7. Dill (shamdr). 8. Mustard. 

In i. The Scgak Cane (kasab es-sukhar) has of late been largely cultivated 

in the N. part of Upper Egypt for the purpose of being manufactured 
into sugar. An inferior variety, which is eaten raw, introduced from India 

if in the time of the khalifs, is cultivated in every part of the country. 

,l k. Vegetables. 1. Bamyas, or Hibiscus esculentus (bdmiya). 2. On- 

ions (basal). 3. Pumpkins (kar'a). 4. Cucumbers (khiydr). 5. Egyptian 

! ' cucumbers (frequently trumpet -shaped and ribbed; different varieties 

\i called 'abdeldwi, 'agtir, etc.). 6. Melons (kawH/i; the best, shammdm). 

j. 7. Water-melons (batttkh). 8. Melonzanes (b'ddingdn). 9. Tomatoes (lomd- 

tin). 10. Corchorus oiitorius (melUkhiyeh). 11. Coloeasia (kulkds). 12. Garlic 

111 (Mm). 13. Mallows (khobbizeh). 14. Cabbage (korumb). 15. Celery (kerafs). 

tl 16. Radishes, a peculiar kind, with fleshy leaves, which form a favourite 

j article of food (figl). 17. Lettuces (khass). 18. Sorrel (hommed). 19. Spinach 

(es-sibdnikh). 20. Parsley (bakdHnis). 21. Purslane (rigl). 22'. Turnips (lift). 
23. Carrots (gezev, a peculiar kind, with red juice). 24. Beetroot (bangdr). 

ill A variety of other vegetables are cultivated in small quantities in gardens, 

•I exclusively for the use of European residents. 

E 5. Trees and Plantations. During recent years new avenues 

and parks have been so extensively planted that Egypt will soon 

• present a far greener and more richly wooded appearance than 
! formerly. In ancient times every square foot of arable land 

seems to have been exclusively devoted to the cultivation of in- 
dustrial crops, the natives preferring to import from foreign coun- 
' tries the timber they required for ship-building purposes', and 



probably also the small quantity employed in the construction of 
their temples. The best proof of the scarcity of good timber in 
Egypt is afforded by the fact that sycamore-wood , one of the 
worst possible kinds owing to the knottiness and irregularity of 
its grain, has been laboriously manufactured into coffins and 
statues. Mohammed 'Ali, a great patron of horticulture, at one 
time offered prizes for the planting of trees, but his efforts were 
unattended with success, as the climatic and other difficulties at- 
tending the task were then but imperfectly understood in Egypt. 
His successors were sworn enemies to trees of every kind, and they 
were content that their palaces should be exposed to the full glare 
of the sun. The Khedive Isma'il, however, at length revived the plans 
of his celebrated ancestor, and by the engagement of M. Barillet 
(1869), superintendent of the gardens of Paris, one of the most 
skilful landscape-gardeners of the day, introduced an entirely new 
feature into Egyptian scenery. This enterprising and able man un- 
fortunately died (1874) before all his plans had been carried out, 
but the eye of every new-comer will rest with pleasure on the paTks 
and gardens for which Egypt is indebted to him. While, for example, 
the traveller had formerly to ride all the way to the Pyramids over 
sterile soil, exposed to the scorching rays of the sun, he now drives 
comfortably thither in a carriage on a well-shaded road. M. Barillet's 
most important works are the Ezbekiyeh Garden at Cairo, the ex- 
tensive pleasure-grounds at Gezireh, and the plantation of trees which 
shades the roads on the left bank of the Nile, opposite the city. 
Hundreds of thousands of trees were planted within a few years, 
and their annually increasing shade has converted many of the 
dusty and stifling roads in and around Cairo into pleasant prome- 
nades. The finest of all these trees, both on account of its um- 
brageousness and the excellence of its wood, and one which thrives 
admirably, is the lebbek (Albizzia Lebbek), which has long been 
erroneously called by travellers the acacia of the Nile (the latter 
being property the sunt tree). Within forty years the lebbek attains 
a height of 80 ft. and a great thickness, while the branches pro- 
ject to a long distance over the roads, densely covering them with a 
dense leafy canopy within a remarkably short time. Thus, an avenue 
planted in 1866 near the German Protestant church already forms 
a complete arcade over the road. AnotheT very valuable and interest- 
ing property of the tree is, that cuttings consisting of branches more 
than a foot thick, and even portions of the trunk, will strike root 
and thrive, while in the case of most other trees the cuttings must 
consist of mere twigs. In the course of a single summer the shady 
avenues leading to the Pyramids were thus formed. About two 
hundred different kinds of trees, chiefly of E. Indian origin, are now 
planted in the parks of the Khedive (about twenty in number) and 
they are constantly multiplied in nurseries laid out for the purpose. 
Among the most important of these are the magnificent 'Flamboyer 


des Indes' (Poinciana pulcherrima) and the rapidly-growing Eu- 
calyptus, tropical fig-trees, and several rare varieties of palms. 

The commonest Trees of an Earlier Period which the traveller 
will encounter in every town in Egypt are the following : — The Acacia 
Nilotica (sunt), the thorn-tree of antiquity, the pods of which, resembling 
rosaries (gdr'rat), yield an excellent material for tanning purposes. Next 
to the palm, this is the tree most frequently seen by the way-side and 
in the villages. The Acacia Farnesiana (fatneh), with blossoms of delicious 
perfume. The sycamore (gimmez), anciently considered sacred. The 
zizyphus, or Christ's thorn-tree (nebk). Tamarisks (tar/a; not to be con- 
founded with tamarinds). The Parkinsonia (sesebdn,' a name also applied 
to the wild Sesbania shrub). Mulberry-trees (tat), in Lower Egypt only. 
Carob-trees, or bread of St. John (kharr&b). The cypress, olive, poplar, 
plane, myrtle, Aleppo pine, Shinus, Melia, and various fig-trees of Indian 
origin are of less frequent occurrence. 

Among the Fruit Trees the most important is the date-palm (nakhleh ; 
the date, balah; the rib of the leaf, gerid; the leaf, lif; the points of the 
leaf, sa'af; the crown, gurnm&r). There are no fewer than twenty-seven 
kinds of date commonly offered for sale. The largest attain a length of 
three inches, and are called ibrimi, or sukkdti, as they come from N. Nubia. 
The most delicately flavoured are the small dark brown ones known as amhdt, 
which are eaten fresh. The Beduins offer for sale at the hotels a kind of 
date-preserve packed in what professes to be gazelle-skins, but is usually 
goats' leather ('agweh). Palm-wine (lagbi), obtained by boring the heart of 
the crown of the palm, whereby the tree is killed, is met with in the oases 
only. Excellent brandy, however, is distilled from the fruit. The value of 
the dates exported annually amounts to about one million francs only, as 
they realise too high a price in the country itself to remunerate the 
exporter. The date-palms blossom in March and April , and the fruit 
ripens in August and September. Fresh dates are rough in appearance, 
blood-red or pale yellow in colour, and harsh and astringent in taste. 
Like the medlar, they become more palatable after fermentation has set in. 

The vine thrives admirably in Egypt, and grapes ('oenab) abound from 
July to September. Wine was extensively made from them in ancient 
times, and this might still easily be done , were it not that Egypt is al- 
ready amply supplied with cheap and excellent wines from every part 
of the Mediterranean. The vine blossoms in March and April , like the 
palm , and the grapes ripen in June and July. Oranges are abundant 
and cheap (the harvest beginning in September) , and so also are man- 
darins and lemons (the small and juicy fruit of the Citrus limonium); 
citrons , and cedros are of less frequent occurrence. Among other fruit- 
trees we may also mention the pomegranate (rummdn), which is spe- 
cially cultivated for the benefit of the Turks, who are very partial to 
them , and which yields a handsome return. Apricots are common , but 
quite destitute of flavour , and the same remark applies to the peaches 
(khdkh); almonds (I6z) are also frequently seen. Throughout the whole 
of Lower Egypt figs (tin) abound in summer, and the cactus-fig (tin-shdk) 
is also a favourite fruit. Apples, quinces, pears, and plums abound, 
particularly in the region of Girgeh and in the Fayum, but these last 
are perfectly tasteless; these fruits, moreover, are so abundantly 
brought to the market from the Mediterranean regions that no at- 
tempt is made to extend their cultivation in Egypt. Within the last 
ten years the banana (mSz) has gradually become naturalised in Egypt, 
but it is still a somewhat expensive fruit (l-l'/zfr. per pound). A deli- 
cacy imported from the W. Indies for the benefit of strangers is the 
Anona squamosa (kishta, i. e. 'cream'). Pine-apples are very rarely seen. 
Fine tropical fruits of this kind (including also the mango) are only to 
be found in the gardens of the Khedive, where, however, their capability 
of acclimatisation has been abundantly proved. 

The principal Decorative Plants are roses (ward ; of which the Rosa 
Damascena moschata and the sempervirens are specially cultivated for the 
manufacture of otto of roses), oleanders of astonishing height, carnations, 


and geraniums , all of which have been grown in Egypt from a very 
early period. A bushy tree, which in its half leafless condition attracts 
the attention of every traveller on landing at Alexandria in winter, is the 
Poinsettia pulcherrima. The insignificant blossom is surrounded by leaves 
of the most brilliant red, presenting a very picturesque and striking ap- 
pearance. Natural forests, or even solitary wild trees, are never met 
with in the valley of the Nile or in the valleys of the northern deserts. 
On the embankments and on the brink of the rivers we occasionally 
find wild tamarisks and willows (sa/sdf), but always in the form 
of mere bushes. In the desert-valleys of Upper Egypt , however , grow 
five different kinds of acacia and several other shrubs of inferior interest. 
Another tree of considerable importance is the beautiful dUm palm, which 
grows wild in the valleys of S. Nubia and even in the oases, but those 
which occur in N. Egypt are always planted. Even in Lower Egypt it 
is not met with beyond 27° N. latitude (indeed hardly beyond Keneh), 
and attempts to acclimatise it at Cairo have never been successful. Lastly 
we may mention two circumstances which throw some light on the bo- 
tanical position of Egypt. One of these is , that the commonest weeds 
associated with the industrial crops of Egypt, and which occur nowhere 
else, are of E. Indian origin; and the other, that numerous plants culti- 
vated by the Egyptians are only now to be found in their wild condition 
in the central regions of Africa. 

The Animal Kingdom in Egypt. (By Dr. M. Th. v. Heuglin.) 

I. Domestic Animals. The Horse (hosdn; horses, kMl; mare, faras; 
foal, muhr; the rider, khayydl) was probably unknown to the most ancient 
Egyptians , and was first introduced by the Hyksos (p. 88). It is now to 
be met with throughout the whole of the valley of the Nile, and even in 
the oases. Owing to want of proper care and insufficiency of food , the 
Egyptian horses are generally of insignificant appearance. 

The Egyptian Donkey (Arab, homdr; comp. p. 11) is noted for its 
power of endurance, its spirited temper , and its moderate requirements. 

The Mule (Arab, baghl, or baghleh), although admirably adapted for 
carrying heavy burdens , is less frequently bred in Egypt, but is some- 
times imported from Abyssinia, Spain, and other parts of southern Europe, 
Syria, and Asia Minor. 

The Camel (Arab, gemel, fern, ndka; the camel for riding, hegin) , was 
not unknown to the ancient Egyptians , as it is mentioned in several 
papyri, but it was probably rarely used, particularly during the early 
monarchy. During the hottest weather the camel can dispense with 
water for three days or more , while its scanty provender consists of a 
few handfuls of maize or beans , of the dry and wiry desert grass , of 
straw, or of prickly acacia leaves. 

The Buffalo (Arab. g&m&s) seems to have been long domesticated in 
Egypt. Its flesh is not esteemed, but the cows yield milk and butter. 
The buffalo requires little food and attention, but does not thrive except 
in swampy ground or in the vicinity of flowing water. The hide forms 
strong and valuable leather. 

The Ox (Arab, tdr; cow, bakara; calf, 'igl; milk, leben; sweet milk, 
halib; sour milk, homed or rdb) thrives in Egypt on the dry soil of the 
arable land, and is also reared in the oases. Down to the year 1863 
Egypt possessed a long-horned race of oxen which is often represented 
on the monuments; but the breed was entirely swept away by a cattle- 
plague during that year. The fellahin make both butter and cheese from 
the milk. Instead of a churn they use a leathern bag suspended from a 
rope (kirbeh). 

The Goat (Arab, me'za or 'anzeh; he-goat, tit; kid, gidi) is to be 
found in every cottage on the banks of the Nile , and in every tent in 
the desert. Its milk is palatable and wholesome. The hide makes 
durable and waterproof water-bags. 

Sheep (Arab, khar&f, na'geh, ghanam, ramis; ram, kebsh) are almost 
as generally kept by the Egyptian peasantry as goats, the most esteemed 


being the fat-tailed varieties (ovis pachycera recurvicanda and ovis 
platyura). The wool of the Egyptian sheep is harsh and wiry, while 
many of those in the desert have stiff, straight hair, and are altogether 
destitute of wool. 

The Pig (Arab, khanzir), which was regarded by the ancient Egyptians 
as the emblem of Typhon, and is considered unclean by the Arabs, can 
hardly be called one of the domestic animals of Egypt, but it is kept by 
the Greek tavern-keepers. 

The Dog (Arab, kelb) throughout the whole of the East is a masterless 
and half-wild animal. The usual breed resembles the jackal type, its 
colour being of a light rusty tint. Every canine family has its regular 
beat, from which intruders are rigorously excluded. Most of the Egyptian 
dogs feed on street refuse. 

The Cat (Arab, kott, kotteh), which was one of the sacred animals of 
the ancient Egyptians (comp. p. 136), is now domesticated in almost every 
Egyptian and Beduin family. 

The Weasel (mustela semipalmata; Arab, 'ersa, or abu 'arUs), is occa- 
sionally kept, like the cat, for the purpose of keeping in check the 
mice of numerous kinds with which the country is infested. It is chiefly 
met with in a half-wild condition in Central and Lower Egypt, in the 
towns, farm-buildings, warehouses, and deserted dwellings. 

Foremost among the various kinds of poultry kept by the Egyptians 
is the domestic Hen (Arab, farkha; cock, dik), the usual breeds of which 
are of small size. The artificial hatching establishments in Egypt are of 
very ancient origin. 

The Turkey (Arab, farkha rUmi) is imported. 

The domestic Goose (Arab, wuzzeh) is chiefly met with in Lower 
and Central Egypt, but nowhere in large numbers. The Egyptian 
Domestic Pigeon (Arab, hamdm) is very common throughout the Nile 
Valley. The peasants erect large dovecots for these pigeons, which they 
keep solely for the sake of the manure they yield. 

II. Wild Animals. As there are no game-laws in Egypt, any one 
provided with a license from the police to carry fire-arms is at liberty 
to shoot anywhere and at any season , provided enclosed gardens be not 
entered , and growing crops respected. Permission to shoot on Lake 
Menzaleh , however , must be obtained from the farmer of the fishings, 
an introduction to whom may easily be procured from the traveller's 
consul at Cairo. 

Tolerable guns and other requirements for the chasse may be pur- 
chased at Cairo (p. 235), but gunpowder is bad and dear. Sportsmen 
who bring their own guns will find it very troublesome to clear them 
at the custom-house. 

One of the favourite objects of the chase is the Arabian Mountain 
Ooat (Ibex beden; Arab, beden or wa'al), which still frequents the 
mountains between the Nile and the Red Sea. 

Another inhabitant of the mountains is the i Maned Sheep'' (Ovis trage- 
laphus; Arab, kebsh el-md, or kebsh el-gebel), which is occasionally met 
with among the rocky hills near Minyeh and in the neighbourhood of 
the Fayum. 

A denizen of the plains between Cairo and Suez , and of the sand- 
hills and heights which bound the valley of the Nile and the oases , is 
the Dorcas Gazelle (Antilope dorcas; Arab, ghazdl), particularly during 
the dry and hot season. 

On the Libyan side of the Nile , in the region of the Natron Lakes 
and the Fayum, and the tract extending thence to the oases, occur also 
the 'Spear Antelope 1 (Antilope leptoceros; Arab, abu-'l hardb) and the 
Addax Antelope (Antilope addax; Arab. a f kas, or bakar el-wahsh), besides 
which the Arabs mention a kind of '■Cow Antelope' (perhaps the Antilope 

The Wild Boar (Arab. halMf) now occurs in a few districts only in 
the Delta and the Fayum. 

In similar localities the sportsman will also meet with the Marsh 
Lynx (Felis chaus; Arab, lifah), the small-footed Wild Cat (JFelis manicu- 


lata; Arab, kott), the Egyptian Wolf (Cants variegatus; Arab, dib), and 
the Ichneumon ' (Herpestes ichneumon; Arab, nims), which last, however, 
prefers gardens and the neighbourhood of farms and villages. 

The Genet (Viverra genetta; Arab, kott zebdd) is said to be met with 
occasionally in Egypt. Among the beasts of prey common in the lower 
part of the Nile Valley we may also mention the various species of Foxes 
and Jackals (Canis vulpes, C. mesomelas, C. niloticus, C. aureus, G. fame- 
licus, and Megalotis zerda; Arab, abu-l-husen , dleb or ta r leb , abu shdm or 
bashbm, and abu svf) and the Skunk (Rhabdogale mustelina; Arab, abu 'a/en). 
The fox and the jackal haunt cliffs, quarries, ruins, and heaps of rub- 
bish. The long-eared Fennec (Arab. Fenek , Zerdo) , a kind of fox which 
subsists partly on vegetable food, lives gregariously in extensive burrows 
which it excavates in the sand of the desert. 

Another beast of prey of frequent occurrence is the striped Hyena 
(Hyaena striata; Arab, dab'a), which usually secretes itself among ruins, 
quarries, or rocks during the day, and scours the country at night in 
search of dead or disabled domestic animals. The professional Egyptian 
hyena hunters (Arab, dabbd'a), who are to be met with in many parts of 
the country, will generally undertake to catch any wild animal of which 
the traveller desires a specimen , and their services as guides to the 
sportsman will often be found useful. 

An animal of rare occurrence in Egypt, being coniined to the side of 
the Egyptian coast-hills next to the Red Sea, is the Porcupine (Hystrix 
cristata; Arab, abu shii'a, or hanhan, or en-nis), which lives in deep hol- 
lows excavated by itself. 

On the banks of the Nile, and particularly in Upper Egypt, the 
Egyptian Hare (Lepus aegyptiacus; Arab, arnab) is frequently met with. It 
usually haunts those tracts which are overgrown with tamarinds. 

Among the mountains of Sinai we frequently observe the Daman, or 
Cony (Hyrax syriacus; Arab, wabr), which lives in troops on the cliffs 
and stony slopes, and often lies basking in the sun on overhanging rocks, 
especially in the forenoon. 

Wild fowl abound in Egypt, and frequently come within range of 
the sportsman's gun. Among these are the Oanga or Sand Grouse 
(Pterocles exustus, Pt. gultatus, and in Upper Egypt the Pt. coronatus also ; 
Arab, kata), and the Bed Partridge (Ammoperdix Heyi; Arab, hagel) which 
frequents the hills around the cataracts at Assuan, the E. slopes of the 
Arabian mountains in the direction of the Red Sea, and Mt. Sinai and 
its environs, extending as far as the Dead Sea. A kind of Red-legged 
Partridge (Arab, abu zer&d , or sena) is also found in the Sinai range. 

The Quail (Coturnix communis; Arab, summdn, or seW) usually visits 
the Nile valley during its spring and autumn migrations only. 

On the N. coast of Egypt the Little Bustard (Otis tetrax) is frequently 
seen in winter, and farther to the W. occurs the ' Collared Bustard ' 
(Otis hubara; Arab, hubdra). 

We may also mention the Nile Goose and the Turtle Dove (Turtur 
senegalensis and T. isabellinus ; Arab, kimri) as natives of Egypt. The 
Nile Valley and the lagoons of the Delta are also largely visited by Bikds 
of Passage. Many of these proceed still farther to the S., but by far 
the greater number remain for three or four months among the swamps 
of Lower Egypt, and in the region of the Natron Lakes and the Birket 
el-Kurun in the Fayum. 

' Among the numerous water-fowl, including ducks and flamingoes, 
several species of heron, and perhaps swans also, which breed in the 
Delta and partly in the Fayum, are the superb '■Sultan Bird' (Porphyrio 
smaragdonotus ; Arab, dikmeh) and the beautiful Golden Snipe (Rhynchaea 

Lastly we must mention the Crocodile (Arab, timsdh), the largest and 
most famous of Egyptian reptiles, which sometimes attains a length of 
thirty feet. Although gradually disappearing before the march of modern 
civilisation, it is still sometimes to be found in the valley of the Nile 
above Girgeh, and more frequently between the cataracts of Assuan and 
the Wadi Haifa, while occasionally, having lost its way during the in- 


undation, it descends to the vicinity of the Delta. Crocodiles are some- 
times seen fast asleep, often with widely opened jaws, basking in the 
sun on flat sandbanks or on the ends of low islands, to which they most 
frequently resort after cool nights. In Egypt, however, where it is oftener 
hunted than in more southern regions, the crocodile is generally too 
wary to be caught napping, though it sometimes becomes entangled in 
the nets and falls a prey to the fishermen. The Arabs of the Sudan, who 
eat the flesh of the reptile and prepare a kind of musk from its glands, 
frequently angle for it with large hooks baited with meat. 

It is seldom worth while to fire at crocodiles when swimming, as 
they usually disappear in the turbid water, even when mortally wounded. 
The sportsman should therefore endeavour to get within range of one of 
these monster saurians when on shore. As they always keep within easy 
reach of the water, they are occasionally observed on the banks of the 
river by the traveller navigating the Nile, in which case they should be 
approached in a small boat as noiselessly as possible. Success is most 
likely to be achieved in cases where the haunt of the reptile is known, 
so that the sportsman may lie in ambush at some convenient spot in the 
vicinity. Unless, as rarely happens, the first bullet kills the animal on 
the spot, it generally contrives to find its way back to the water, and 
thus effects its escape. 

Another saurian of great power, and extremely rapid in its move- 
ments, is the Monitor (Arab, waran), which attains a length of 4-5 ft., and 
derives its name from its supposed habit of giving warning of the ap- 
proach of a crocodile. 

III. Other Mammalia and Birds. Although not indigenous to 
Egypt, several varieties of Apes, which are imported from the S. and W. 
provinces, are seen in the larger towns. Among these are the Cynoce- 
phalus hamadryas and C. anubis (both called kird by the Arabs), the 
Inuus ecaudatus (Arab, nisnds), the Cercopithecus ruber, C. griseo-viridis, 
and, more rarely, the C. pyrrhonolus. 

The Nile Valley and the neighbouring desert hills are largely in- 
fested by Bats (Arab, watwdt). The commonest kinds are the Kalong 
(Pteropus), the Long-eared Bat (Plecotus, Vespertilio, Taphozous, Nyctinomus), 
and the Spectre Bat (Rhinolaphus, JVycteris, Khinopoma). 

Besides the beasts of prey already enumerated (p. 79), we may also 
mention the Mustela Africana, several kinds of Hedgehog (Erinaceus; 
Arab, konfud), and the Shrew (Arab, urnm sisi). 

Egypt contains numerous species of the Rodentia. The fields, dwel- 
ling-houses, and sailing-vessels are often infested with Mice and Rats (Mus, 
Acomys), and in the Sinai Peninsula is found the Dormouse (Eliomys me- 
lanurus), all of which are called far by the Arabs. The Jumping Mouse 
(Dipus; Arab, yerb&'a) and the Sand Mouse (Meriones; Arab, gebeli) live 
in the desert, and the l Fat Rat' (Psammomys obesus) in the sand-hills 
around Alexandria. 

Besides the Birds indigenous to Egypt, there are, as already men- 
tioned, a great number which winter there, while others merely pass 
through the country when on their way to other regions. About 360 dif- 
ferent species have been ascertained to occur in Egypt, but we shall 
merely enumerate a few of the most important of those which remain 
permanently in the country. 

The commonest Birds of Prey are the Golden Vulture (GypaUns meri- 
dionalis ; Arab, big), the White-headed Vulture (Vultur fulvus; Arab, nisr), 
the Eared Vulture (V. auricularis), the Goose Vulture (V. cinereus), which, 
however, is a bird of passage only, the Carrion Vulture (Neophron perc- 
nopterus; Arab, rakhameh), the Harrier (Milvus aegyptiacus ; Arab, heddyeh), 
and the Elanet (Elanus melanopterus). The white -tailed Sea Eagle 
(Haliaetus albicilla; Arab, 'okdb, or shometa) breeds in the Delta, the 
River Eagle (Pandion haliaetus; Arab, mansur or ketdf) on the cliffs of 
the Red Sea, the Dwarf Eagle (Aauila pennata) among the palm-groves of 
Lower Egypt , and the Lanner Falcon (Falco lanarius variet. ; Arab. 
shdhin) and Falco barbarus on the pyramids and rocky heights. Great 
numbers of '■Screaming Eagles'" pass the winter in Egypt. Of rarer oc- 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 6 


currence are the Imperial Eagle, the Batik Eagle, the Migratory Falcon, 
the Stone and Red-footed Falcons, the white-tailed Buzzard, the Hawk, 
and the Sparrow-hawk (Arab. bdz). Several species of the European Har- 
rier are more common than these last. The Tower Falcon breeds in every 
part of Egypt, and probably the Castrel Hawk (Falco cenchris) also. The 
Gabar (Nisus gabar) is said to be sometimes met with in Upper Egypt. 

The commonest Owls are the sub-tropical Church Owl (Athene noctua 
var.; Arab, umm Mk) and the Eagle Owl (Bubo ascalaphus; Arab. bUm, or 

The family of Goatsuckers is represented in Egypt by the peculiar 
Caprimulgus aegyptiacus. A small Swift (Cypselus parvus), the chief 
representative of its family, frequents the regions planted with the dum 
palm. The Swallows (khottdf, or 'asffir el-yenneh) most frequently seen 
are the red-breasted Hirundo cahirica, which remains permanently in the 
country, and a kind of Rock Swallow (Cotile obsoleta). 

Of the Fishing Birds the most common is the Kingfisher (Ceryle 
rudis), which frequents the banks of every part of the Nile. 

The Bee Eaters are represented by the Merops apiaster, the M. aegyp- 
tiacus, and the M. viridissimus, all of which breed in Egypt; but the last 
only, which is called shehagh by the natives, and chiefly occurs in Cen- 
tral and Upper Egypt, remains throughout the year. 

The most numerous of the Thin-billed Birds are the Hoopoes (Arab. 
hudhud), and to the Promeropides belongs the pretty, lustrous Honey- 
sucker (Nectarina metallica), which frequents the frontiers of Upper Egypt. 

Singing Birds ('asfur) are not numerous in Egypt, with the exception 
of numerous species of Larks and Stonechats. We may next mention the 
Drymoeca, or Drymoecus gracilis, the Cisticola cursitans, the Tree Nightin- 
gale (Aedon galactodes), the Acrocephalus stentoreus, the African Water- 
wagtail (Motacilla vidua), the Wedgelail (Argia acaciae), and the Bulbul 
(Pycnonotus Arsino'i, found in the Fayum and N. Nubia, while a second 
species, the P- xanthopygius occurs in Arabia Petrsea and the valley of 
the Jordan). 

There are no Flycatchers peculiar to Egypt. Among the Butcher-birds 
we may mention the ^Masked Shrike' (Lanius nubicus), and among the 
Ravens (ghurdb), the Short-tailed Raven (Corvus affinis) and the Desert 
Raven ( C. umbrinus). The lofty mountains of the Sinai Peninsula are the 
haunt of the Red-legged Crow (Fregilus graculus); and among the tamarisk 
bushes and on the rocky margins of the valleys of Arabia Petrsea occurs 
the Starling (Amydrus Tristramii). 

Among the Finches peculiar to Africa is the '■Desert Trumpeter' (Buca- 
netes githagineus). On the upper part of the Nile, beyond the Wadi Haifa, 
occur several species of a more tropical character, such as the Fire-finch 
(Euplectes franciscana), the Steel-finch (Hypochera nitens), the 'LancetaiV 
(Uroloncha cantans), and the Dwarf Bloodfinch (Lagonosticla minima). 

Woodpeckers are not met with on the Lower Nile. The Wryneck and 
grey Cuckoo occur as birds of passage, and the Spurred Cuckoo (Centropus 
aegyptiacus; Arab, abu burbur) as a denizen of the Delta. The Jay (Coc- 
cystes glandarius) is more widely diffused throughout the country. 

Among the native Running Birds we may mention the Desert Runner 
(Cursorius isabellinus), the Stone Curlew (Oedicnemus crepitans; Arab, ker- 
wdn), the Crocodile- Watcher (Pluvianus aegyptiacus; Arab, ter et-timsdh), and 
the sprightly Spurred Plover (Hoplopterus spinosus; Arab, siksak)'. The 
commonest of the Herons are the l Cow Heron' (Ardea Ibis ; ' Arab, abu 
kerddn) and the white ' Great Heron' (Ardea alba and Ardea garzetta). 
Near the Wadi Haifa occurs the Abdim Stork (Ciconia Abdimii; Arab. 
sinbileh). To the family of the Ardeidae belong the rare Ibis Tantalus 
and the Sacred Ibis (Ibis aethiopica; Arab, na'ayeh herez, or abu mingal). 

Besides the European aquatic and other birds already enumerated 
which frequent the lagoons, lakes, and marshes (p. 81), we may also 
mention the Rose-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) of N. Nubia- the 
curious Scissor-beak (Rhynchops flavirostris ; Arab, abu mokds) and the Fox 
Goose (Chenalopex aegyptiacus; Arab, wuz), which are found' throughout the 
whole of the Nile Valley, the former especially in summer- and the 


Brown Booby (Sula fiber; Arab, shomet), several peculiar species of Gulls 
and Sea Swallows (Larus leucophthalmus, Larus gelastes, Larus Hemprichii, 
Sterna media, Sterna Bergii, Sterna albigena, Sterna infuscata, and Anous 
stolidus), and the singular-looking Dramas (Arab, hankdr), on the shores 
of the Red Sea. The Flamingo ( Phosnicopterus anliquorum; Arab, bdsha 
rosh) haunts the Bed Sea and the lagoons of the Delta throughout the 
whole year, usually congregating in enormous flights, and breeds in the 
region to the E. of Lake Menzaleh. 

IV. Reptiles. Of this class of animals there are but few species 
peculiar to Egypt. The Salamanders and Batrachians (Arab, dufda'a) are 
but scantily represented. There are about twenty species of Snakes (Arab. 
ta'bdn), including the Horned Viper (Cerastes; Arab, mokdreneh) which 
appears in the ancient inscriptions as a hieroglyphic, the Echis (Arab, gha- 
ribeh or dashshdsha) , the Cobra da Capello, Hooded, or Spectacle Snake 
(Naja Haje; Arab, ndsher), the Telescopus (Arab, abu 'ay&ri), the Psam- 
mophis (Arab, abu siydr), the Tropidonotus, the Periops (Arab, orkam), the 
Zamenis (Arab, gidari), and the Eryx (Arab, dassds). The horned viper, 
the echis, and the hooded snake are highly venomous, and their bite is 
often fatal ; the other snakes are not venomous, but their bite is sometimes 
dangerous. The Egyptian snake-charmers (Arab, hdwi), all of whom be- 
long to a gipsy tribe (ghagar), usually exhibit a number of cobras, the 
teeth in which the venom is secreted having been extracted (comp. p. 81). 

To the order of the Saurians belong the Crocodile ( Crocodilus vulgaris ; 
Arab, timsdh), of which there are several varieties, and the Monitor (Va- 
ranus niloticus; Arab, waran), both of which have been already mentioned 
(pp. 80, 81). Other species occurring in Egypt are the Ablepharus, the Oon- 
gylus, the Plestiodon, the Euprepes, the Scincus (Arab. sakankHr), the 
Ophiops, the Eremias and Acanthodactylns (Arab, sehliyeh), the Psammo- 
saurus griseus (Arab, waran, a name also applied to the monitor), the 
Uromastix spinipes (Arab, dab), the Uromastix viridis, the Stellio vulgaris 
(Arab, hard&n), several kinds of Agama, the Chameleon (Arab, herbdyeh), 
and numerous Ascalabotes (Arab, abu burs). To the Turtle Family belong 
the Nile Turtle (Trionyx aegypliaca; Arab. Ursa) and a small Tortoise 
(Testudo marginata; Arab, zelhdfeh), while in the Red Sea occur six 
varieties of Chelonia (Arab, bisa or sakar), several of which yield excellent 
tortoise-shell (Arab, bagha). 

V. Fish of the Nile (by Dr. C. B. Klunzinger). The finny inhabi- 
tants of the Nile are in keeping with the palms growing on its banks, 
being of a tropical and African type. They are generally the same as 
those found in the Senegal and other African rivers, while European 
species are very rare. There are in all about 70-80 varieties. The fol- 
lowing sketch is merely designed to afford an idea of the commonest 
species, particularly of those brought to market. Many of them are re- 
presented and described in the 'Description de TEgypte 1 (p. 200). 

The fish of the Nile are most abundant during the time of the in- 
undation, when a number of varieties, not found at other seasons, are 
brought down from the higher regions to Lower Egypt. At these seasons 
the canals yield abundant spoil, especially after the subsidence of the 
water. The flesh is generally soft, watery, and insipid, but the mode of 
cooking it is perhaps partly in fault. The colours are wanting in var- 
iety, white with a dark-coloured back predominating. 

To the Perch Family (scaly fish with serrated head-bones) belongs the 
Keshr, and to the Carp Family (scaly fish without teeth) belong the Lebis, 
or Debs, and the Binni, with a thorn in its dorsal fin. The various kinds 
of Siluridae are very abundant (fish without scales, with barbels, and 
generally with an adipose fin). Among these are the Shilbeh (a fish with 
a high neck, a short dorsal fin near the head, and without the adipose 
fin), which is of three kinds, the shilbeh 'arabi, the shilbeh sheri/iyeh, and 
the shilbeh wudni (the first two with, the last without a spinous ray in 
its dorsal fin). The Shdl, called kurkdr in Upper Egypt owing to the 
sound which they emit, is easily recognised by the bony armour cover- 
ing its head and its fringed barbels. The varieties are the shdl beledi, 
the shdl senin or sheildn, and the shdl kamari or bain sdda, the last of 




which has a blackish stomach. The shdl karafsheh, or samr, has a layer 
of bone over its neck. The shdl abu riydl more nearly resembles the 
following varieties. The Bayad and the Dokmdk, provided with very long 
barbels, and generally of large size, are abundant. Another important 
member of the Siluridse is the long and large Karmut, with its long dor- 
sal and posterior fins. The karmut hdleh has an adipose fin, while the 
karmut 'arabi has none. To the same family belongs also the famous 
Ra'dd, or electric eel (with one adipose fin on its back, and black spots 
on its skin). 

The following families are peculiar to the tropics. The Characini 
(salmon of the Nile) are scaly and provided with an adipose fin. Among 
these are the high-backed and almost rhombic Kamr el-Bahr; the oblong 
Ray, with its small and somewhat flat teeth; the Roshdl, or Kilb el-Bahr 
(river-dog), with strong, conical teeth protruding from its mouth; and the 
Nefdsh, with its small, narrow, and closely-set teeth with double points, 
and somewhat high shoulders. To the family of the Chromides (scaly fish 
with spinous fins and sides of irregular shape) belongs the Bolti. 

A family occurring in Africa only is that of the Mormyrides, or scaly 
fish with remarkably small mouths, and heads covered with a thick and 
bare skin. Among the members of this family is the well-known Mor- 
myrus oxyrrhynchus (Kanuma, or Khashm el-Banat), with its long snout 
turned downwards, which was so frequently represented by the ancient 
Egyptians ; then the blunt-mouthed Banes , including the Kashua and 
Kashua kamura, or 'Ersat el-Bahr, the last of which has an almost square 

An interesting, but not common, fish is the Finny Pike (Polypterus; 
Arab, abu bishir), with its numerous dorsal fins and rhomboidal scales 
covered with enamel, forming one of the few surviving members of the 
abundant antediluvian Ganoids. The Ball Fish (Tetrodon; Arab, fakaka), 
which is not an edible variety, is frequently offered for sale, either fresh 
or stuffed (p. 236), on account of its curious shape and its singular faculty 
of puffing itself out like a bladder. It differs from the common ball-fish 
of the Red Sea in having seven brown or blackish oblique stripes on its 
sides. The Red Sea contains many fish of a similar kind, but they are 
not known to exist in the Mediterranean. From the latter sea the Har- 
der (Mugil), Buri, or Ghardna, frequently ascend the Nile, where they 
form the herrings of the Arabs (fesikh). The same remark applies to the 
'Finte'' (sabugha), a fish resembling the herring, which occurs in many of 
the seas, rivers, and lakes of Europe. The Eel of the Nile (ta'bdn el-bahr) 
does not differ from that of European waters. 

VI. Insects. Butterflies are very rare in Egypt, but Moths are much 
more numerous. Among the not very numerous Beetles we may mention 
the Ateuchus sacer, the celebrated Scarabaeus (p. 125) of the ancient 
Egyptians. This sacred beetle was believed to be of the male sex only, 
and its act of rolling the clayballs containing its eggs was supposed to 
be its manner of propagating its species (Plutarch de Iside, 1. x. 74). 
The Egyptians accordingly consecrated the scarabseus to Ptah, the god of 
origin and creation, who is often represented on the monuments with a sca- 
rabseus in place of a human head. Among other varieties occur the Bu- 
prestis, the Cicindela or sand-beetle, the Hister, the Dei-mestes, and nu- 
merous Water Beetles. 

The various kinds of Wasps in Egypt attain a very large size. Bees 
are not often kept by the natives. The so-called black honey eaten by 
the lower classes is sugar-cane treacle. The white honey, which is the 
genuine produce of bees, is imported from Arabia. 

The commonest of the Orthoptera are Grasshoppers and Cockroaches; 
and of the Neuroptera we may mention the Ephemera or day-flies the 
beautiful and often reddish-coloured Dragon-fly, and the White Ant (rare) 
Among the Diptera are the troublesome House-fly, and the Mosquito 
Vermin of all kinds abound, such as Fleas, Bugs, Lice Scorpions 
Tarantulas, and Centipedes. ' * ' 


III. Outline of the History of Egypt. 

Chronological Table. 

Introduction. There is no people in the worid whose history 
is traceable to so remote a period as that of the Egyptians. Other 
nations may possibly have understood the art of writing as early as 
they, but no specimens of it have been preserved; whereas the Egyp- 
tian records, hewn in stone, burned in clay, or written on leather 
or on scrolls of papyrus , have survived the ravages of thousands of 
years. The preservation of these memorials , however, is mainly 
due to the dryness of the air in the rainless valley of the Nile, and 
to the property possessed by the hot sand of the desert of hermetic- 
ally sealing everything committed to its keeping. 

The remote dates with which Egyptian chronology deals seem my- 
thical when judged by the standards of Jewish and Christian chrono- 
graphers, and particularly when compared with the supposed date of 
the creation of the world; but they are derived from the lists given by 
Manetho, which have been confirmed by the monuments themselves. 

The priest Manetho (Egypt. Mai en Thot, i.e. 'beloved of Thoth') of Se- 
bennytus (the modern Semennfid, p. 445), being acquainted with the Greek 
language, was employed by King Ptolemy II. Philadelphia (B.C. 284-246) 
to translate the ancient historical works preserved in the temples. This 
'Egyptian History' of Manetho enjoyed a high reputation at a later period, 
but was subsequently lost, with the exception of his lists of kings and their 
dates, which have been transmitted to us partly byFlavius Josephus, the 
Jewish historian (1st cent. A.D.), and partly by Christian historians. 

The monuments and inscriptions in some cases confirm, and in 
others supplement, the records transcribed by Manetho for the 
Ptolemies, our information being derived from the series of kings' 
names inscribed on tablets found at Abydus, Karnak, and Sakkara, 
from papyrus scrolls, particularly one in the Museum of Turin, and 
lastly from historical and genealogical notices on the walls of tem- 
ples and tombs, on statues, implements, and trinkets. A method- 
ical mode of utilising these fragmentary historical records was first 
taught by the learned Prof. Lepsius (d. 1884). 

The lists of the Pharaohs are arranged in the families or dynasties 
of the Thinites, Hemphites, and others. If it be assumed that these dif- 
ferent houses reigned in succession , and their reigns be simply added 
together, the sum which results is very large. But, if it be assumed that 
many of the dynasties mentioned by Manetho reigned contemporaneously 
in different parts of the country, the reigns of members of the leading 
dynasties alone have to be added together, and a comparatively moderate 
sum is the result. Adopting the former method of computation M. Mariette 
has fixed the date of Menes, the first King of Egypt, as B.C. 5004, while 
Sir Gardner Wilkinson, proceeding on the latter assumption, assigns the 
date B.C. 2700 to the same monarch. Lepsius, on the other hand, believes 
the true date to be B.C. 3802, as Manetho states that an interval of 3555 
years (or 3553, taking into account the difference between the Egyptian 
and the Julian year) elapsed between the reign of Menes, the first King of 
Egypt, and that of Nectanebus II. (B.C. 340), the last of the native sover- 
eigns. Our information becomes more definite after the beginning of the 
New Empire, while from the 26th Dynasty (B.C. 685) downwards the da- 
tes of the different kings are well ascertained. 

In- accordance with the arrangement of the history of Egypt 



M. 5004 1. 
L. 3892. 
W. 2700. 

given by Lepsius, and now generally accepted, the mythical period 
■was succeeded by that of the Primaeval Monarchy, the Hyksos Do- 
mination, and the New Empire, which were followed by the supre- 
macy of the Persians, the Ptolemies, and the Romans in succession. 
Another system recognizes between the Old and the New Empire 
a Middle Monarchy, which includes the period of the Hyksos. These 
divisions, in conformity with the lists of Manetho, are again sub- 
divided into Dynasties, or different families of kings, named after 
the districts or nomes (p. 32) of which their founders were natives. 

Chronological Table. 
Primaeval Monarchy. 

I. DYNASTY (Thinites, i.e. from Teni, the Greek This, 
near Abydus in Upper Egypt). 

Menes (Egyptian Mend) , the first earthly king of Egypt, 
who is said to have founded Memphis (see p. 373). 

Athothis (Eg. Teta ; p. 373). 

Usaphais (Eg. Hesepti), who is said to have written ana- 
tomical works. 

II. DYNASTY (Thinites). 

III. DYNASTY {Memphites, from Memphis, which soon 
obtained precedence over the more southern royal city 
of This). 

Tosorthros (Eg. Tefd) , who studied medicine. In his 
reign the calendar is said to have been regulated, and the 
year of 365 days introduced (consisting of twelve months of 
thirty days, with five supplementary days). 

IV. DYNASTY (Memphites ; p. 344). 
Snefru (pp. 344, 468, 479, 491), the founder of the 4th 

Dynasty, and the first king of whose reign we possess con- 
temporaneous monuments. Long after his death he con- 
tinued to be highly extolled, and was even revered as a god. 
Khufu (the Cheops of the Greeks) 1 Builders of the 
Khafra (the Chephren of the Greeks ; I three great Pyra- 
pp. 159, 345) f mids of Gizeh 

Menkaura (the Mycerinus of the Greeks) ) (p. 343 et seg.). 
Khufu and Khafra have been handed down to the detestation 
of posterity as profligate despisers of the gods , chiefly owing to 
the account of them given by Herodotus (ii. 124 ; see p. 344 et seq.), 
who, however, was ill informed with regard to the earliest period 
of Egyptian history. The monuments themselves bear testimony 
to the fact that the family and court of the builders of the Great 
Pyramids were fpious worshippers of the gods , that they were 
prosperous and wealthy, and that they were industrious and per- 
severing in their undertakings. At that period the fine arts, and 
particularly that of sculpture , attained a perfection which the 
Egyptians never again reached. The inscriptions on the monu- 
ments also exhibit a high degree of technical skill. 

M. 4235. 
L. 3124. 

t M. is the initial letter ofMariette, L. of Lepsius, and W. of Wilkinson • 
comp. p. 85. — The most important names only in each dynasty are given! 



M. 3951. 
L. 2956. 

M. 2851. 
L. 2380. 

V. DYNASTY (Memphites; pp. 368, 372, 389, 491). 

VI. DYNASTY (Elephantines, from Elephantine, near Syene, 
the modern Assuan, situated in Upper Egypt ; p. 491). 

Teta (p. 376). 
Pepi I. (p. 402). 
Pepi II. (p. 402). 
Nitokris (Eg. Neitakef). 

VII. DYNASTY (Memphites). 

VIII. DYNASTY (Memphites). 

IX. DYNASTY (Heracleopolites, from HeraeleopolisParvat, 
the Karba of Egyptian and Karbanis of Assyrian inscrip- 
tions, situated in the N.E. part of the Delta ; see pp. 412 

X. DYNASTY (Heracleopolites). 

XI. DYNASTY [Diospolites , from Diospolis, i. e. Thebes 
now Eluksur-Karnak-Medinet Abu in Upper Egypt; 
pp. 160, 453). 

On the coast of the Delta, which at thia remote period was 
most probably a very swampy district, densely overgrown with 
marsh vegetation, and which was first brought under cultivation 
in the neighbourhood of This , and afterwards around Memphis, 
the towns of Tanis and Heracleopolis Parva had been founded at a 
very early epoch by seafaring peoples of Semitic origin. They 
thence penetrated into the interior of the country, where they 
came into collision with the Egyptians coming from the south, 
whose culture they adopted. At the same time, however, they 
retained their independence under kings of their own, who during 
the period of the 6th, 7th, and 8th Dynasties formed the 9th and 
10th contemporaneous Dynasties of Heracleopolites, from the year 
2691 onwards, and who ruled over the Delta and perhaps the 
whole of Lower Egypt. The 11th Dynasty, which put an end to 
the sway of the Heracleopolites, is called Diospolite, or Theban, 
but in the estimation of the ' Egyptians was not a strictly legiti- 
mate line. 

Middle Monarchy. 

XII. DYNASTY {Diospolites; pp. 160, 164, 334, 453). 
Amenemha I. (Gr. Ammenemes). 

Vsertesen I. (Gr. Sesonchosis ; pp. 334, 459). 

Amenemha II. (Gr. Ammanemes). 

Vsertesen II. (Gr. Sesostris ; p. 491). 

Vsertesen III. (Gr. Lachares~). 

Amenemha III. (Gr. Ameres ; pp. 457, 461, 522). 

Amenemha IV. (Gr. Amenemes~). 

Sebek-nefru (Gr. Skemiophris). 

+ Heracleopolis, or City of Hercules. The Phoenician god Melkart 
was called by the Greeks Heracles, as he is said to have performed sim- 
ilar prodigies of strength. Brugsch identifies the Heracleopolitan with the 
Sethroitic nome (the capital of which was Pithom or Pi-Tum) ; see p. 412. 


Under this Dynasty the sceptres of Upper and Lower 
Egypt were united. All the kings were powerful and pros- 
perous, and art again flourished. The Sun Temple at Helio- 
polis (see p. 334) was magnificently restored , and in the 
Fayum the practice of building pyramids was revived (see 
p. 459 et sej.). During this period, too, fortifications were 
erected on the N.E. frontier of the kingdom which appear 
to have extended across the whole of the present Isthmus of 
Suez (p. 454). 

The Hyksos Period (pp. 298, 373, 453, 479). 
In the 12th Dynasty we already hear of Semitic families 
applying for admission to Upper Egypt t, and in the 13th 
Dynasty these immigrations became more frequent. The 
newcomers met with kinsmen in the seaports of the Delta, 
allied with whom and with Arabian tribes they at length 
became so powerful as to defeat the armies of the Pharaohs 
and obtain possession of the whole of Lower Egypt. They 
made Tanis their capital , and under the name of Hyksos 
ruled over N.Egypt for five centuries, while the exiled royal 
family was compelled to retire to Upper Egypt. (The name 
of 'Hyksos', according to Josephus, Manetho, and others, 
is derived from hyk, a king, and sos, a shepherd, and thus 
signifies 'shepherd kings' ; some modern authorities, how- 
ever, derive it from hak shasu, signifying 'Robber Kings'.) 
The Hyksos soon conformed to the ancient culture of the 
valley of the Nile. They applied the name of the Egyptian 
god Set to their own gods (Be'alim) ; and the sphinxes 
preserved at Tanis with the portrait-heads of their kings 
(p. 298) prove that they took Egyptian artists into their ser- 
vice, and perhaps themselves acquired a knowledge of the 
Egyptian plastic art (p. 162). At the same time they adopt- 
ed all the titles of the Pharaohs and the whole of the court 
ceremonies of the legitimate monarchs of Egypt, tt 
XIII. DYNASTY (Diospolites). 

t } n th / e tom t> of the governor Khnum-hotep, at Beni Hasan, Absha, a 
Semitic chief, with his family and attendants, is represented approaching 
with gifts. The occasion was perhaps similar to that on which Abraham 
and Sarah were induced to visit Egypt (Gen. xii. 10). The record of 
their sojourn there forms the earliest notice of Egypt to be found in the 

„ *+ -from this it appears that, when Joseph came to Egypt at the end 
of the Hyksos period , he found on the throne a monarch of a race kin- 
dred to his own, though conforming in all respects to the ancient cus- 
toms of the Pharaohs. A famine mentioned in a tomb at El-Kab is per- 
haps identical with the one which brought Jacob and his family to EffVDt 
This tomb belonged to the father of Aahmes, a naval officer who took 
part in the expulsion of the Hyksos about four centuries before the Ex- 
odus. The inscription runs thus: — 'When a famine prevailed for manv 
years, then I gave the city corn during each famine'. 



M. 1703. 
L. 1591. 
W. 1520. 

M. 1462. 
L. 1443. 
W. 1340. 

XIV. DYNASTY {Khoites, from Kho'is, situated to the N.E. 
of Sals). 

XV. DYNASTY (Hyksos). 

XVI. DYNASTY (Hyksos). 

XVII. DYNASTY (Diospolites). 

We learn from a papyrus in the British Museum that the 
Hyksos monarch Apepi demanded the cession of an import- 
ant -well from Rasekenen , the king of Upper Egypt (17th 
dyn.). This incident gave rise to the outbreak of a war of 
independence which lasted for eighty years. 

XVIII. DYNASTY {Diospolites ; pp. 446, 479). 

Aahmes I. {Amosis, or Amasis ; p. 302) captured Abaris 
(Ha-war) after a long siege by land and by water. The 
Hyksos (numbering, according to Manetho, 24,000 men 
capable of bearing arms) weTe obliged to retreat and to 
seek a new territory, and most of them accordingly settled 
in S. Palestine. The successors of Aahmes penetrated far 
into Asia, subjugated one nation after another, exacted 
heavy tribute from the vanquished, and embellished Thebes, 
their capital, with magnificent edifices. 

Amenhotep I. (Gr. Amenophthis). 

Tutmes ( Thothmes) I. (Gr. Amensis). 

Tutmes II. (Gr. Misaphris) and Bamaka, his sister and wife. 

Tutmes III. (Gr. Misphragmuthosis ; pp. 298, 363, 522) 
extended his conquests as far as the vicinity of the Tigris. 

Tutmes IV. (Gr. Tuthmosis). 

Amenhotep III. (Gr. Amenophis ; pp. 385, 406) not only 
continued to exact tribute from the Oriental nations as far 
as Mesopotamia, but succeeded in extending his dominions 
towards the south. He was also remarkable for his extra- 
ordinary building enterprise. 

Amenhotep IV. (Gr. Horns') returned to the earlier and 
ruder religion of worshipping the sun. For his name Ame- 
nophis ('peace of Ammon') he therefore substituted Khu- 
en-aten ('reflection of the sun's disk'). 

Ramses I. {Rhamesses ; pp. 427, 435, 453). 

XIX. DYNASTY {Diospolites, pp. 162, 427, 453). 

Setil. (pp. 313, 427, 435, 453) undertook several campaigns 
against the Aramaic tribes, who had formed a league 
under the hegemony of the powerful Kheta (or Khittim, 
the Hittites of the Bible), and penetrated as far as the 
Orontes. He erected the Memnonium at Abydus, and caused 
a sepulchre to be hewn for himself in the rock at Thebes. 
He caused Ramses , his son and successor, to be educated 
along with other young Egyptian nobles, and it is possible that 
Moses formed one of the number (Exod. ii. 10). Seti devot- 
ed special attention to the Delta and to Tanis, the ancient 



M. 1288. 
L. 1209. 
W. 1200. 

capital of the Hyksos, where he erected extensive buildings 
with the aid of the Semites , among whom the Israelites 
must also be included. During this reign a great canal was 
completed in Goshen (see p. 411), leading from the Nile to 
the E. frontier of the kingdom, and probably thence through 
the Bitter Lakes to the Red Sea, but chiefly destined for 
the irrigation of the land of Goshen. 

Ramses II. the Sesostris of the Greeks (pp. 313, 374, 410, 
413, 427, 453, 481), with a view to vindicate his supremacy 
over the nations subjugated by his ancestors, undertook cam- 
paigns towards the S. to Donkola, towards the N. to Asia Minor, 
and towards the E. to the Tigris, to commemorate which he 
erected monuments of victory in various parts of the conquered 
countries. He exhibited great zeal as a builder, and was a 
patron of art and science. He erected the Ramesseum at 
Thebes, and presented it with a library. Pentaur, Amenem- 
apt, and other poets flourished during this reign. Ramses II. 
was the Pharaoh who oppressed the Israelites (Exod. i. 11). 

Merenptah (Gr. Amenephthes), the 'Pharaoh of the Exodus' 
(pp. 316, 453, 481). During his reign (in the year 1325, 
according to Brandis) the termination of a Sothis period t 
was celebrated. A conflict which broke out between this 
monarch and the Israelites settled in Goshen resulted in his 
discomfiture (Exod. xiv.). 

The New Empire. 
XX. DYNASTY [Diospolites ; p. 479). 
Ramses III. (the Rhampsinitus of Herodotus , ii. 121 ; see 
also pp. 334, 408), though successful in his campaign against 
the Libyans and in other warlike enterprises , could not vie 
with Ms ancestors in military glory , but endeavoured to 
surpass them in the magnificence of his buildings. His 
monument at Biban el-Muluk , near Thebes , is one of the 
finest now in existence. Most of the rock-tombs in this city 
of royal mausolea were founded by his successors of the 
same Dynasty, {all of whom also bore the name of Ramses 

t The course of Sothis, or the dog-star, afforded the Egyptians a means 
of ascertaining the true astronomical year. They began their first year 
with the early rising of this star, at the beginning of the inundation 
(on 1st Thoth). The Egyptian solar year, being six hours too short, 
differed from the Sothis year by a quarter of a day. This discrep- 
ancy soon became very perceptible. After 40 years the end of the solar 
year fell by 10 days, and after 400 years by 100 days, short of the end of the 
true Sothis year, and festivals recurred at seasons to which they did not 
properly belong. At length, after 365 X 4 years, the error corrected itself, 
and the beginning of the new year again coincided with the rise of Sothis. 
Thus in a period of 1460 fixed, or 1461 variable, years the error in the 
Egyptian calendar was rectified. 



M. 1110. 
L. 1091. 
W. 1085. 

M. 980. 
L. 961. 
W. 990. 

M. 810. 
L. 787. 

M. 715. 
L. 716. 
W. 714. 

XXI. DYNASTY (Tanites, from Tanis, in the N.E. part of 
the Delta; pp. 373, 452). F 

The throne of the Ramessides was now usurped by ambitious 
hierarchs of Tanis, headed by Herhor, the chief prophet of 
Ammon ; and Thebes was thus deprived of her ancient pre- 
eminence. This dynasty of priest-kings reigned ingloriously. 
Being unable to exact obedience from their Asiatic vassals 
by force , they endeavoured to maintain their suzerainty by 
a conciliatory policy. (See also the relations of Solomon 
with Egypt : 1 Kings iii. 1 ; ix. 16 ; x. 28.) 

XXII. DYNASTY (Bubastites, from the Bubastis of the 
Greeks, the Pibeseth of the Bible, the Pibast of the 
Egyptian monuments, the modern Tell Basta in the Delta ■ 
pp. 163, 410, 457). 

Sheshenk I. (the Sesonchis of the Greeks , the Shishak of 
the Bible ; p. 454) assisted Jeroboam against Rehoboam, and 
besieged and captured Jerusalem. 

Osorkon (Gr. Osorthon , the Zerah of the Bible, 2 Chron. 
xiv. 9 ; xvi. 8 ; see p. 457) invaded Palestine , but was 
signally defeated by Asa. 

XXIII. DYNASTY {Tanites; p. 453). 

Tefnekht, prince of Sais and Memphis, attempted to possess 
himself of the sovereignty of Lower Egypt, but was defeated 
by Piankhi, King of Ethiopia, who captured Memphis, but 
afterwards returned to his own country (see p. 299). 

XXIV. DYNASTY (Saites, from Sais, the modern Sa el- 
Hager; p. 445). 

Bek-en-ranf (Gr. Bocchoris) vainly endeavoured by a new 
legislation to arrest the decline of the empire. In 716 Egypt 
fell into the hands of the Ethiopians. — Interregnum. 

XXV. DYNASTY (Ethiopians). Shabako (Gr. Sabacon) con- 
quered Upper Egypt, and resided at Thebes, but made no 
alteration in the religion or the constitution of the coun- 
try. His sister Ameneritis (p. 297) became the wife of 
King Ba-men-kheper Piankhi, and their daughter Shep-en- 
apet married Psammetikh I. (see below). 

Shabataka (Gr. Sebiehos) led an army to the assistance of 
the Jewish king Hezekiah, but was defeated at Altaku by 
Sennacherib, King of Assyria. 

Taharka (Gr. Tearco ; the Tirhakah of the Bible, the Tarku-u 
of the Assyrian monuments ; pp. 299, 303) formed an alli- 
ance with the kings of Phoenicia and Cyprus against Assy- 
ria, but was defeated in Egypt by Esarhaddon, the son and 
successor of Sennacherib, and driven back to Ethiopia. 
The Assyrians then plundered Thebes and divided the coun- 
try among twenty princes, among whom Nekho (the Nechoh 



M. 665. 
L. 685. 
W. 664. 



of the Bible) , prince of Sal's , became the most prominent. 
After Esarhaddon's death Taharka endeavoured to shake off 
the Assyrian yoke, but was defeated and driven out of Egypt 
by Assurbanipal (Sardanapalus), Esarhaddon's son and suc- 
cessor. The vassal princes assisted Taharka, but were par- 
doned by Assurbanipal and reinstated in their provinces on 
a solemn vow of future obedience. 

Nut- Amen (Assyr. Urdamani) captured Memphis and won 
back the whole of Lower Egypt, but was in his turn defeated 
by Sardanapalus, who again invaded Egypt. 

After the departure of the Assyrians and the decline of 
their power under the successors of Sardanapalus, the petty 
Egyptian princes attained complete independence and es- 
tablished the so-called 'Dodekarchy'. An end, however, was 
put to this by Psammetikh, son of Nekho, and prince of Sa'is 
and Memphis , with the aid of Ionian and Carian mercen- 
aries. As the nephew (by marriage) of Shabako (p. 91) 
Psammetikh was the legitimate heir of the Ethiopian dy- 
nasty, and he accordingly ascended the throne of Egypt and 
founded the — 
XXVI. DYNASTY (Scutes ; pp. 163, 427, 446). 

Psammetikh. I. (Egypt. Psemtek, Gr. Psammetichus ;p. 385), 
in order to consolidate his empire, assigned dwellings to the 
Greek mercenaries in the fertile region of Bubastis, and fa- 
voured foreigners in many ways. The warrior caste of Egypt, 
highly offended at this proceeding, emigrated to Ethiopia, 
and there founded the kingdom of the Sembrides. Profiting 
by the decline of the power of Assyria, Psammetikh made 
war against the wealthy Phoenician seaports, but was stoutly 
opposed by the Philistines. 

Nekho (Grk. Nechos, Egypt. Nekau; p. 427), the son of 
Psammetikh, was more concerned for the domestic welfare 
of the country than for military glory. During his reign the 
S. extremity of Africa was circumnavigated for the first time 
(Herod, iv. 42). Nekho began to construct a canal from the 
Nile to the Red Sea , but discontinued the work on being 
informed by an oracle that it would only benefit 'strangers. ' 
Hearing of the campaign of the Medes and Babylonians 
against the Assyrians, he also marched against Assyria, and 
defeated Josiah, King of Judah, the ally of the Assyrians, who 
opposed him at Megiddo. Meanwhile, however, Nineveh had 
fallen , and the Assyrian empire been divided by Cyaxares, 
King of Media , and Nabopolassar , King of Babylon ; and 
Nekho's farther progress was arrested by Nebuchadnezzar, 
King of Babylon and son of Nabopolassar, who defeated him 
at Karkemish (Circesium). Nekho thus lost his possessions 
in Syria and Palestine. 






Psammetikh II. (Psammis, or Psammuthis). 
Uahbra, (Gr. Apries or Vaphris ■ the Hophrah of the 
Bible), observing that the Babylonians were encroach- 
ing on Palestine, fitted out an army and fleet, cap- 
tured Sidon , defeated the Cyprians and the Tyrians in a 
naval battle, and marched to the relief of Zedekiah, King of 
Judah, who was besieged in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar 

lhat city having been again besieged by Nebuchadnezzar 
and captured, Uaphris accorded an asylum to its exiled 
inhabitants. He afterwards sustained a defeat from Bat- 
tus II., King of Cyrene, in consequence of which his army 
rebelled against him. Aahmes, who had been dispatched by 
him to treat with the insurgents, was then proclaimed king 
and he himself was dethroned. ' 

Aahmes II. (Gr. Amasis;?. 386) succeeded in securing 
his supremacy by alliances with Cyrene , with the tyrant 
Polycrates of Samos, and with the Greeks. He assigned land 
to foreign colonists , granting them religious toleration , and 
diverted the stream of commerce from the semi-Phoenician 
cities of the Delta (Tanis, Mendes, and Bubastis) towards 
the Greek city of Naucratis (seep 207). During his reign the 
country enjoyed peace and prosperity, but the balance of 
power among the great nations of that era underwent a con- 
siderable change. Cyrus had meanwhile founded the vast Per- 
sian empire, and consolidated it by means of the conquest of 
the Babylonian and Lydian kingdoms. His son Cambyses next 
marched against Egypt, the only great power which still 
rivalled Persia. Having advanced to Pelusium with a large 
army, he there defeated Psammetikh III., son of Amasis 
who was now dead (p. 374), captured Memphis, and 
took the king prisoner. Psammetikh was afterwards executed 
for attempting to organise an insurrection to shake off the 
foreign yoke. 

The Persian Domination. 
XXVII. DYNASTY (Persians). 

aQe mb Z S ^ S ( PerS - Kamh ™iyaIL, Egypt. Kembut; pp. 374, 
d»b, 44b) at first behaved with great moderation. He 
tolerated the Egyptian religion, and to his own name he 
added the Egyptian agnomen of Ramesut , or 'child of the 
sun . After, however, he had failed in several rash enter- 
prises, such as his campaigns against the inhabitants of the 
oasis of Ammon and against the Ethiopians, his temper 
became soured, and his conduct violent and cruel. He died 
at Acbatana in Syria, while marching to Persia against 
Gaumata, a usurper who personated Bardiya (Gr. Smerdis), 










the deceased brother of Cambyses, who had been assassinated 
long before this period by order of the king himself. 
Darius I. (Pers. Daryavus) , son of Hystaspes (Vistaspa), 
became king of the Persian empire on the dethronement of 
the usurper Gaumata (the personator of Smerdis). His 
policy consisted in modifying his rule over each part of his 
territory in accordance with its own special requirements. 
He endeavoured to promote the prosperity of Egypt in every 
possible way. He established new commercial routes from 
Koptos in Upper Egypt to the Red Sea , and from Siut and 
Abydus to the Sudan ; he resumed the construction of the 
canal from the Nile to the Red Sea (p. 428) ; he improved 
the roads of Egypt ; he sent a strong garrison to the oasis 
of Khargeh (p. 63), and erected a temple to Ammon there ; 
he coined money for the use of the Egyptians , whose cur- 
rency had hitherto consisted of stamped, rings and weights ; 
and he appointed Amasis , a scion of the 26th Dynasty , his 
satrap in Egypt. Hearing that the Persians had been de- 
feated by the Greeks (in 492 and 490), the Egyptians 
revolted against the Persian yoke under the leadership of 
Khabbash, a descendant of the family of Psammetikh. The 
insurrection, however, was soon quelled by — 

Xerxes I. (Pers. Khshayarshd) , son of Darius ; Khabbash 
disappeared , and Achaimenes , the king's brother , was ap- 
poined satrap. 

Artaxerxes I. (Pers. Artakhshathrci), surnamed Makrocheir, 
or Longimanus, next ascended the Persian throne. During 
his reign the Egyptians again revolted. Prince Inarus of 
Marea, aided by the Athenians, defeated Achaimenes, the 
Persian satrap , but the allied Egyptians and Greeks were 
in their turn defeated by the Persian general Megabyzus 
near Prosopitis , an island in the Nile , and Inarus was 
crucified. Amyrtaeus, a scion of a princely Egyptian family, 
and a partizan of Inarus , then sought an asylum in the 
marshy coast district, where he succeeded in maintaining 
his independence. 

Herodotus travels in Egypt. 

Darius II. (Pers. Daryavus) , surnamed Nothos , or the 
Bastard. The Egyptians now revolted for the third time. 
Pausiris, son of the Amyrtaeus above mentioned, had 
meanwhile been succeeded by a second Amyrtaeus, who still 
maintained the independent position of his predecessor in 
the Delta. This Amyrtaeus headed the new insurrection, 
which became general in 404 ; and he was soon recognised as 
king of the whole of Egypt. He founded the 28th Dynasty, 
which, however, lasted for six years only. Naifdurut (Ne- 




382 378. 






pherites) of Mendes at length succeeded in completely 
throwing off the Persian yoke , and became the founder of 
the 29th Dynasty. His chief endeavour was to secure the 
friendship of the Greeks, with a view to strengthen himself 
against the Persians. 

Artaxerxes II., surnamed Mnemon. 

The Persian king endeavoured to recover Egypt, but 
Akhoris, the successor of Naifaurut, threw obstacles in his 
way by supporting his enemies, particularly Euagoras , the 
tyrant of Salamis in Cyprus, and by improving the defences 
of his country. 

Psamut (Psammuthis) and — 

Naifaurut (Nepherites) II., the successors of Akhoris, 
reigned for short periods only. 

Nekht-hor-heb (Nectanebus I.), however, the next native 
monarch, a Sebennytic prince, the founder of the 30th 
Dynasty , completed the warlike preparations of the Egyp- 
tians , and entrusted the chief command of his troops to 
Chabrias, an Athenian general, who signally defeated 
Pharnabazus, the Persian general, at Mendes. 

Artaxerxes III. , Oehus. 

Tachos or Teos, who succeeded Nekht-hor-heb, invaded 
Persian Phoenicia, supported by a body of Greek allies. 
During his absence, his nephew Nekht-nebf (Nectanebus II.) 
usurped the Egyptian crown , but was defeated by Arta- 
xerxes III. and driven into Ethiopia. Egypt now surrendered 
to Artaxerxes, and again became a Persian satrapy (345). 

Darius III., Codomannus. 

Alexander the Great, after having defeated Darius on the 
Granicus (334), and at Issus (333), and captured the Phil- 
istine town of Gaza, maTched to Pelusium, and was received 
with open arms by the Egyptians, who regarded him as their 
deliverer from the Persian yoke. He tolerated the native 
religion, visited the Oasis of Ammon, and founded Alexan- 
dria (p. 207), which, under the Ptolemies, became the great 
centre of Greek culture and of the commerce of the whole 

In the lists of the Pharaohs we find the 28th, 29th, and 30th 
Dynasties mentioned as contemporaneous with the 27th or Persian 

XXVIII. Dynasty (Saites): Amyrtaeus (Amen-rut). 

XXIX. Dynasty (Mendesites , from Mendes, in the Delta; see 
p. 442): — 

399-393 Nepherites I. 
393-383 Akhoris. 
383-382 Psammuthis. 
382-378 Nepherites II. 

XXX. Dynasty (Setennytes, from Sehennytns, the modern Semen- 
nud, in the Delta; p. 445): — 












378-364. Nelhl-hor-heb (Nectanebus I.). 

364-361. Tachos (Teos). 

361-345. NekM-nebf (Nectanebus II.). 

Period of the Ptolemies. 
Ptolemy I. Soter (p. 212), son of Lagus, and one of Alex- 
ander's generals, now became Macedonian governor of Egypt. 
He defeated Antigonus and Perdiccas, who threatened the 
independence of Ms province, and in 305 , after the assass- 
ination of Alexander II. ^Egus , the son of Alexander the 
Great , he assumed the title of King of Egypt. In conse- 
quence of the foundation of the Alexandrian Museum (p. 
212) for the reception of learned men, as well as of literary 
treasures, Alexandria soon superseded Athens as the chief 
nursery of Greek literature. Two years before his death, 
which took place in 284, Ptolemy I. abdicated in favour of 
his son, 

Ptolemy II. Philadelphus (pp. 85, 212, 441). 

Ptolemy III. Euergetes I. (p. 212, 314), in the course of 
two campaigns, conquered the empire of the Seleucides and 
Cilicia in Asia Minor. The power of Egypt abroad was now 
at its zenith. 

Ptolemy IV. Philopator. Under this king and his suc- 
cessors, a series of degenerate monarchs, the great empire of 
the Ptolemies hastened to its destruction. He defeated 
Antiochus the Great of Syria, who had marched towards the 
Egyptian frontier , at the Battle of Raphia, but concluded a 
dishonourable peace with him. 

Ptolemy V. Epiphanes (p. 450) ascended the throne, 
when five years of age, under the guardianship of Agathocles 
and (Enathe , the mother of the latter. In consequence of 
revolts at Alexandria and Lycopolis , and an attack by 
Antiochus the Great of Syria, his guardians were obliged 
to resign their office in favour of the Roman Senate , by 
whom Coelesyria and Palestine were ceded to Antiochus, 
while Egypt continued to be independent. Ptolemy V., hav- 
ing been prematurely declared of full age in 196 , married 
Cleopatra I., daughter of Antiochus the Great. This alliance 
not only secured peace abroad , but caused a portion of the 
revenues of Coelesyria , Phoenicia , and Judaea again to flow 
into the treasury of Alexandria. The internal affairs of the 
country, however , fell into a state of deplorable confusion ; 
one rebellion succeeded another, and anarchy prevailed 

Ptolemy V. was poisoned. 

Ptolemy VI. Eupator, his son, died the same year. 

Ptolemy VII. Philometor , the second son of Ptolemy V. 



















(p. 408), when six years of age, ascended the throne under 
the protectorate of his mother Cleopatra I. 

Battle of Pelusium. Philometor is taken prisoner, and Mem- 
phis captured, by Antiochus IV. of Syria. 

Ptolemy VIII. was now placed on the throne, but was im- 
mediately assassinated by Ptolemy IX. Euergetes II. (nick- 
named Physcon, or 'big belly'). 

Ptolemy VII. Philometor and Ptolemy IX. Physcon, having 
become reconciled, reign jointly. 

The brothers quarrel ; Philometor flies to Rome , is rein- 
stated by the Roman senate , and thenceforth reigns alone ; 
while Euergetes , by command of the Roman senate , reigns 
at Cyrene. 

Philometor dies. 

Ptolemy Physcon besieges Alexandria, and becomes the 
guardian of the heir-apparent, a minor. 

He is overthrown by a revolution, and retires to Cyprus. 

He regains possession of the throne. 

Physcon dies. Cleopatra III. Cocee , his niece and widow, 
and her son Ptolemy X. Soter II. Philometor II. (Lathyrus) 
reign jointly. 

Lathyrus is banished, and his brother Ptolemy XI. Alexan- 
der I. becomes co-regent in his stead. 

Alexander is exiled by insurgents. 

Alexander is slain in a naval battle, and Lathyrus is 

Thebes rebels and is destroyed. 

Lathyrus dies. Alexander marries Berenice III. , with 
whom he reigns jointly , under the name of Ptolemy XII. 
Alexander II. 

He assassinates his wife, and is himself slain. 

Ptolemy XIII. Neos Dionysos (or Auletes, the 'flute- 
player'), an illegitimate son of Lathyrus, ascends the throne, 
and is formally recognised by Rome (59). 

Diodorus visits Egypt. 

Auletes flies from Alexandria to Rome, but is reinstated 
by Gabinius. 

Auletes dies, leaving a will by which he appoints his eldest 
children — ■ 

Cleopatra VII. (pp. 428, 213) and Ptolemy XIV. Dio- 
nysos II. Ms joint heirs, commands them to marry each 
other, and nominates the Roman senate their guardian. 
Pompey is appointed to that office. 

Ptolemy XIV. banishes Cleopatra. Pompey , having been 
defeated by Caesar at the Battle of Pharsalia, seeks an asylum 
in the territory of his wards, but on landing in Egypt is 
slain at the instigation of Ptolemy. 

Baedekek's Hgypt I. 2nd Ed. 








B.C. 30- 

A.D. 362. 



A.D. 14-37. 






Caesar lands at Alexandria , takes the part of the banished 
Cleopatra, and defeats the rebellious Ptolemy. 

Ptolemy XIV. is drowned in the Nile. 

Caesar, having meanwhile become dictator of Rome , ap- 
points Ptolemy XV. , the brother of Cleopatra VII. , a boy 
of eleven, co-regent. 

Ptolemy XV. is assassinated at the instigation of Cleopatra, 
and Ptolemy XVI. Caesarion, her son by Caesar, is appointed 

Csesar is murdered. 

Antony , having summoned Cleopatra to Tarsus to answer 
for the conduct of her general Allienus, who contrary to her 
wishes had aided the army of Brutus audCassius at Philippi, 
is captivated by her beauty and talent. After having spent 
years of debauchery with the Egyptian queen , he is at 
length declared by the Roman senate to be an enemy of his 
country. Octavianus marches against him , defeats him at 
Actium, and captures Alexandria. 

Antony commits suicide, and Cleopatra is said to have 
also caused her own death by the bite of an asp. 

Egypt now became a Roman province , and was governed 
by prefects down to A.D. 362. 

Roman Period. 

Caesar Octavianus, under the title of Augustus, becomes 
sole ruler of the vast Roman empire (p. 213). The Egyptian 
priesthood accord to the Roman emperors the privileges en- 
joyed by their own ancient monarchs, and in their temple- 
inscriptions style them autocrator (absolute sovereign). 

The Ethiopians, under their queen Candace, invade Egypt. 

Strabo travels in Egypt. 

Tiberius erects the Sebasteum at Alexandria. 

Germanicus visits Egypt. 

Caligula. A persecution of the Jews takes place, to which 
we are indebted for the valuable treatise of Josephus in 
answer to Apion, who had written against the Jews. 

Claudius. Rights of citizenship guaranteed to the Jews. 
Lake Moeris gradually dries up. 

Nero. Egypt acquires a new source of wealth as a com- 
mercial station between India, Arabia, and Rome. 

Annianus, first bishop of Alexandria. 

Qalba, Otho. Vitellius. 

Vespasian (p. 213) visits Alexandria. From this city Titus 
starts on his expedition against Palestine, which terminates 
with the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. 

Domitian (p. 443) encourages the worship of Isis and 
Serapis at Rome. 










About 179. 













Trajan (p. 428). The canal connecting the Nile with the 
Red Sea is re-opened. (Amnis Trajanus). 

Rebellion of the Jews at Alexandria. 

Hadrian (p. 213) visits Egypt (twice according to some 
accounts). His letter to Servianus (p. 216). 

Termination of a Sothis period (comp. 90). 

Marcus Aurelius. 

Rebellion of the Bueolians , or cowherds of Semitic origin 
who had long been settled among the marshes of the Delta, 
quelled by Avidius Cassius. 

Avidius Cassius is proclaimed emperor by the Egyptian 
legions, but is assassinated in Syria. 

Marcus Aurelius visits Alexandria (p. 213). 

Demetrius, first patriarch of Alexandria. 


Septimins Severns. The philosopher Ammonius Saccas 
founds the Neo-Platonic School. 

Severus visits Egypt. 

Edict prohibiting Roman subjects from embracing Chris- 
tianity. The Delta at this period is thickly studded with 
Christian communities. Schools of Catechists nourish at 
Alexandria (Pantsenus, Clement, Origen). 

Caracalla (p. 213) visits Egypt. Massacre at Alexandria. 
Caracalla is assassinated by the prefect of his guards — 

Macrinus , who is proclaimed emperor by the Egyptians. 
After his death a series of contests for the possession of the 
throne take place at Alexandria. 

Decius (p. 214). 

Persecution of the Christians under Decius. Beginning of 
the anchorite and monastic system , perhaps in imitation of 
the hermit life led by the devotees of Serapis (p. 384). The 
history of these Christian ascetics (comp. pp. 385, 480) soon 
to came be embellished with myths of every kind. 

Valerianus. Persecution of the Christians (p. 214). 

Gallienus accords religious toleration to the Christians. 
Plague in Egypt. 

Rebellion of Macrianus , who is recognised as emperor by 
the Egyptians. He marches into Illyria against Domitian, 
the general of Gallienus. 

JEmilianus (Alexander) is proclaimed emperor by the army 
at Alexandria and recognised by the people, but is defeated 
and put to death by the Roman legions. 

Egypt invaded by an army of Queen Zenobia of Palmyra. 

Claudius II. 


Renewed invasion of the Palmyrenes. Zenobia recognised 
as Queen of Egypt. 

1 * 





















Zenobia dethroned. Insurrection of Firmus, a Syrian (p. 
214). Invasions of the Blemmyes. Firmus defeated. 

Probus obtains the purple at Alexandria (p. 214). 

His successful campaign against the Blemmyes. 

Diocletian (pp. 214, 218). 

Rebellion in UppeT Egypt. 

Insurrection of the Alexandrians. 

Diocletian takes Alexandria and marches to Upper Egypt. 

Erection of Pompey's Column (p. 218). 

Persecution of the Christians. 

Maximinus. Beginning of the Arian controversies. 

Constantine the Great, first Christian emperor. 
Council of Nice. The doctrine of the presbyter Arius of Alex- 
andria (p. 214) that Christ was begotten by God before all time, 
and was godlike, but not very God, is condemned ; while the 
teaching of Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, to the effect that 
Father and Son are homousioi, or of the same nature, is sanctioned, 
chiefly owing to the powerful eloquence of his deacon Athanasius, 
who accompanied him to the Council. 

Constantine founds Constantinople as a new metropolis of 
Greek art and science. 

Death of Constantine. 

Constantius favours Arianism. Athanasius is deposed, 
and Georgius , who is made bishop of Alexandria , opposes 
the followers of Athanasius with the sword. 

Athanasius dies , after having spent the last years of his 
life in the midst of his flock. 

Theodosius I. the Great. He formally declares Chris- 
tianity to be the religion of the empire. Persecution of the 
Arians and heathens (pp. 214, 374). 

Partition of the Roman empire, Arcadius being emperor of 
the East, and Honorius of the West. 

The Byzantines. 

Arcadius permits Theophilus, the bigoted patriarch of 
Alexandria (p. 214), to exterminate with fire and sword 
the opponents of the doctrine that God must be considered 
to have a human form. 

Theodosius II. 

Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, dies, and is succeeded 
by Cyril (p. 214). 

„ The view of the patriarch Cyril, that Christ and the Virgin (as 
7) oeotoxo?) possess a double nature, prevails over that of the 
patriarch of Constantinople at the third (Ecumenical Council, held 
at Ephesus. 

Death of Cyril. 

Marcianus (p. 214). 

At the fourth oecumenical Council, that of Chalcedon, the doc- 
trine of the archimandrite Eutyches of Constantinople to the 
effect that Christ possessed a double nature before his incarnation 















but that this human nature was afterwards absorbed by his di- 
vine, is condemned, chiefly through the influence of Pope Leo the 
Great. At the same time the doctrine that Christ possesses two 
natures, aauyxuTiuc and atpiirctaq, but at the same time oSiaipi-ruK 
and axiupfatuK, »■ e - unmixed and unchangeable, but also indis- 
tinguishable and inseparable, is formally accepted by the Church. 
The Egyptians, to this day, adhere to the monophysite doctrine 
of Eutyches. 


With a view to put an end to these doctrinal controversies, 
Zeno issued the so-called Henoticon, in which the question whether 
Christ possessed a single or a double nature was evaded. The 
doctrine stated, however, was so vague, that this attempt at re- 
conciliation proved entirely fruitless. 


Famine in Egypt. 

Rebellion of the Alexandrians on the occasion of the elec 
tion of a patriarch. 

Justinian (p. 214). New administration. 
The emperor appoints a new orthodox patriarch. The Mono- 
physites, who far outnumbered the orthodox party, separate from 
the dominant church and choose a patriarch of their own. They 
were afterwards called Copts (p. 42). 

Heraclius (p. 215). 

The Persians under Chosroes invade Egypt (p. 215). Alex- 
andria is taken. Chosroes rales with moderation. 
The Persians expelled by Heraclius. 

Mohammedan Period. 

'Arm Ibn el-'Asi, general of Khalif 'Omar (pp. 241, 324, 
374, 428), conquers Egypt and founds FostAt. 

'Amr enters Alexandria. 

'Omar is assassinated. 

'Othman. A number of Arabian tribes settle in the valley 
of the Nile, and many Copts embrace El-Islam. Fostat 
becomes the capital of the new government. 

'Othman is put to death. . 

'Omayyades. The last of this dynasty was — 

Merwan II., who, having been defeated by Abu'l-' Abbas, 
fled to Egypt, and was put to death there. The Omayyades 
were then exterminated, with the exception of 'Abd er- 
Rahman, who fled to Spain, and founded an independent 
Khalifate at Cordova. 

The 'Abbasides govern Egypt. 

Mamun (p. 352), the son of Harun er-Rashid, visits Egypt, 
promotes scientific pursuits of all kinds, and supports the 
school of learned men which had sprung up at Fostat. 

Ahmed ibn Tulnn, governor of Egypt (p. 242), profiting 
by the weakness of the 'Abbasides reigning at Baghdad, 
declares himself an independent sultan , and founds the 
dynasty of the Tulunides. Arabian writers extol Tulnn for 














his fabulous wealth and love of magnificence. Numerous 
buildings were erected during this reign (pp. 242, 265). 
Khumaruyeh (p. 242), son of Tulun. 

The 'Book of Lands', a geographical work by Ja'kubi, pub- 
lished about the year 891, informs us that Fosldt occupied about 
one-third of the area of Alexandria at that period, that Alex- 
andria was the most important commercial city in Egypt, that 
AshmunSn in Upper Egypt (see vol. ii. of the Handbook) was 
noted for its extensive cloth factories, Tints for its weaving and 
gold embroidery, Alexandria, Dampdt, and Shut a for their brocades 
and cloth of gold (dabiki, kasab, washy), the Fay&m for its canvas 
(khlsh), SMt for its carpets, Akhmim for its straw mats and 
leather-work, and Taha for its pottery. The chief export at that 
period, as in ancient times, was corn, which was chiefly sent to 
the Hijaz. 

The Tulunides are put to death by the 'Abbaside Khalif 
Muktafi, who marched with an army to Egypt. 

The Shi'ite Fatimites , who had gained possession of the 
supreme power at Tunis, commanded by 'Obedallah, attack 
Egypt, but are defeated. 

Mohammed el-Ikhshid, a Turk, and governor of Egypt, 
takes possession of the throne. 

Kafur, a black slave, who had for a time conducted the 
government for the second son of El-Ikhshid, usurps the 
throne, and recognises the suzerainty of the 'Abbasides. 

Oohar conquers Fostat for his master, the Fatimite Mu'izz, 
great-grandson of 'Obedallah. Mu'izz (p. 242) assumes the 
title of khalif and transfers his seat of government to Egypt, 
after having founded the city of Masr el-Kahira (Cairo) as 
a residence for himself near Fostat (p. 242). Egypt now 
becomes the most important part of the territory of the 

Fatimite sovereigns of Egypt. The earlier of these govern- 
ed the country admirably. The population increased with 
wonderful rapidity, and the whole of the commerce of India, 
as well as that of the interior of Africa, flowed to Egypt. 

Mu'izz dies. 

'Aziz, his son , distinguishes himself by his tolerance and 
his love of science (p. 287). 

Hakim (pp. 242, 279), son of 'Aziz, a fanatic, declares 
himself to be an incarnation of 'Ali, and becomes the foun- 
der of the sect of the Druses (see Baedeker's Palestine and 
Syria, p. 100). 

Zahir, Hakim's son, rules with sagacity. 

Abu Tamim el-Mustansir, a weak and incapable prince. 
The country is Tavaged'by a pestilence. Bedr el-Jemali, 
governor of Damascus, is summoned to Egypt to act as chief 

Musta'li, son of Mustansir, conquers — 













Jerusalem and the towns on the Syrian coast , but is de- 
prived of his conquests by the army of the First Crusade. 

King Baldwin of Jerusalem attacks Egypt unsuccessfully. 

f Adid Ledinallah, the last Fatimite. 

Contests for the office of vizier take place during this reign 
between Shawer and Dargham. The former, being exiled, 
obtains an asylum with N&reddln, the ruler of Aleppo, who 
assists him to regain his office with Kurd mercenary troops, 
commanded by the brave generals Shirkuh and Salaheddin 
(Saladin). Shawer, quarrelling with the Kurds, invokes the 
aid of Amalarich I., King of Jerusalem (1162-73), who 
comes to Egypt and expels the Kurds. A second army of 
Kurds, which was about to invade Egypt, is driven back in 
the same way, whereupon Amalarich himself endeavours to 
obtain possession of Egypt. Shawer next invokes the aid of 
his enemy Nureddin, whose Kurdish troops expel Amalarich. 
Egypt thus falls into the hands of the Kurds Shirkuh and 
Salaheddin. Shawer is executed. Shirkuh becomes chief 
vizier, and on his death Salaheddin rules in the name of the 
incapable khalif. On the death of the latter Salaheddin be- 
comes sole ruler of Egypt, and founds the dynasty of the — 


Salaheddin (pp. 242, 262, 266, 443, 519), being a Sun- 
nite, abolishes the Shfite doctrines and forms of worship. 

After Nureddin's death he gains possession of the whole of 
that sovereign's Syrian dominions. 

By the victory of Hittin he overthrows the Christian king- 
dom in Palestine. 

Death of Salaheddin. 

Melik el- r Aziz (p. 353), his brother and successor, pre- 
serves intact the dominions bequeathed to him ; but the em- 
pire is dismembered at his death, and Egypt falls to the 
share of his son — 

Melik el-Kamil (p. 439), in whose reign the country began 
to play a prominent part in the history of the Crusades. 

Damietta (Dumyat) is captured by the army of the Fifth 
Crusade, but is compelled to surrender in 1221 (p. 443). 

While the sons of the last sultan are fighting with each 
other and with other members of the family for the throne 
of Egypt, the Mameluke — 

Melik es-Saleh usurps the supreme power, and founds the 
Mameluke Dynasty, t His power being somewhat kept in 

+ The Mamelukes were slaves (as the word mamWh imports), pur- 
chased by the sultans and trained as soldiers, for the purpose of forming 
their body-guard and the nucleus of their army. They placed Melik es- 
Saleh on the throne, hoping to govern him without difficulty. But when 
the new sultan found his authority sufficiently well established, he dis- 
missed them from his service, and formed a new body-guard of the 












check by his body-guard of Bahrite Mamelukes, he endea- 
vours to extend his supremacy abroad. He attacks his uncle 
Isma'il, the ruler of Damascus. The latter allies himself 
with other Syrian princes and with the Christians of Pale- 
stine, but is defeated by Melik es-Saleh , whose army has 
been reinforced by the Turkish mercenaries of the prince of 
Kh.are.zmia. The Egyptians take Jerusalem, Damascus, Ti- 
berias, and Ascalon. 

Louis IX., the Saint, of France, roused by the loss of Jeru- 
salem, and with a view to prevent the Egyptians from 
further encroaching on the Holy Land, undertakes a cam- 
paign against Egypt , takes Damietta (p. 443), but while 
marching to Cairo is captured along with his army at Man- 
sura, and is only released on payment of a heavy ransom. 

Bahrite Mameluke Sultans. The first of these monarchs 
was Mu'izz Eibeg. 

Bebars , who had risen from being a slave to the position 
of leader of the Mamelukes, was one of the ablest of this 
dynasty. In the course of four campaigns he annihilates the 
last remnants of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and rules with 
sagacity, moderation, and justice. He brings to Cairo the 
last representative of the "Abbaside khalifs, who had recent- 
ly been dethroned by the Mongols, recognises his authority, 
and permits him nominally to occupy the throne. 

Kalaun {Kilawun, p. 275) successfully opposes the Mon- 
gols, and conquers Tripoli. 

El-Ashraf Khalil (pp. 255, 278, 282), captures r Akka, the 
last place in the Holy Land held by the Christians. 

Hasan, the builder of the finest mosque at Cairo (p. 260). 

Circassian Mameluke Sultans (Burgites). The founder 
of this dynasty was — 

Barkuk (pp. 242, 282), who overthrew the Bahrite Mame- 
lukes. The reigns of these sultans present a series of revo- 
lutions and atrocities (see p. 242). 

Bursbey (Berisbai, p. 285) conquers Cyprus. 

Kait Bey (pp. 268, 286). 

El-Ghuri (p. 274). 

Tumiln Bey (pp. 243, 272) is dethroned by the Osman 
Sultan Selim I. of Constantinople (pp. 243, 333). Cairo is 
taken by storm. Egypt thenceforth becomes a Turkish 
Pashalic. Selim compels Mutawakkil, the last scion of the 
family of the r Abbaside khalifs , who had resided at Cairo 
in obscurity since the time of Bebars, to convey to him his 

Bahrite Mamelukes (who were so called from the fact that their barracks 
were situated in the island of Ruda in the Nile or Bahr). Ere long, how- 
ever, the new guards succeeded in gaining possession of almost the whole 
of the supreme power. 





1st July. 

2nd July. 

13th July. 

21st July. 

1st Aug. 

1799, Jan., 

25th July. 
24th Aug. 

1800, 21st 

14th June. 
1801, Sept. 

nominal supremacy, and thus claims a legal title to the of- 
fice of Khalif, the spiritual and temporal sovereign of all 
the professors of El -Islam, t 

The authority of the Osman sultans soon declined , and 
with it that of their governors. The Egyptian pashas were 
now obliged, before passing any new measure, to obtain the 
consent of the 24 Mameluke Beys (or princes) who governed 
the different provinces, and who merely paid tribute to the 
pasha. The most distinguished of these beys was — 

'Ali Bey, originally a slave, who raised himself to the 
dignity of an independent sultan of Egypt by taking ad- 
vantage of the difficulties of the Turks , who were involved 
in war with Russia. He conquers Syria and Arabia, but on 
his return to Egypt is imprisoned by order of his own 
son-in-law Abu Dabad, and dies a few days afterwards. 
Abu Dabad obtains a ratification of his authority from the 
Turkish sultan. After his death, the beys — 

Murdd and Ibrahim share the supremacy, and render them- 
selves almost independent of Turkey. 

The French. Occupation. 

Napoleon Bonaparte (pp. 243, 429) arrives at Alexan- 
dria, hoping to destroy the English trade in the Mediter- 
ranean, and, by occupying Egypt, to neutralise the power 
of England in India. 

Storming of Alexandria. 

The Mameluke Bey Murad defeated. 

Battle of the Pyramids. 

Destruction of the French fleet at Abukir by the English 
fleet commanded by Nelson (p. 447). 

Insurrection at Cairo quelled. 

Central and Upper Egypt conquered. 

Defeat of the Turks at Abukir. 

Napoleon returns from Alexandria to France, leaving 
General Kleber in Egypt. 

Kle"ber defeats the Turks at Matariyeh (p. 333). 

Kleber is assassinated at Cairo (p. 243). 

The French are compelled by an English army to capitulate 
in Cairo and Alexandria, and to evacuate Egypt. 

t The Turkish Khalifs, however, have never been recognised by the 
Shi'ites, as not being descended from 'AH. Most of the Sunnltes also, 
especially among the learned Arabs, regard them merely as temporal mon- 
archs. Eelying on an ancient tradition, they maintain that none but de- 
scendants of the Koreishites , the family to which Mohammed belonged, 
can attain the office of Imam, or spiritual superior. They accordingly re- 
gard the great Sherif of Mecca as their true Imam. 










Mohammed r Ali and Ms Successors. 

In the year 1803 the French consul Matthieu de Lesseps 
was commissioned by his government to seek for some suit- 
able man to counteract the influence of the English and the 
Mamelukes in Egypt, and he accordingly recommended for 
the purpose Mohammed r Ali, who was born at Kavala in 
Roumelia in 1769 , and who was at that period colonel 
(bimbashi) of an Albanian corps of 1000 men in Egypt. 

Mohammed 'Ali, having succeeded in removing most of his 
enemies, is appointed Pasha of Egypt. In 1807 he frustrates 
an attempt of the English to take possession of Egypt, and on 
1st March, 1811, causes the Mameluke beys, who prevented 
the progress of the country, to be treacherously assassinated, 
together with their followers (470 in number). His son, 
Tusun Pasha , wages a successful war against the Wah- 
habites in Arabia , and deprives them of Mecca and Medina. 
Mohammed improves the agriculture of Egypt by introducing 
the cotton-plant , and by restoring the canals and embank- 
ments, appoints Frenchmen and other Europeans to various 
public offices, and sends young Egyptians to Paris to be 
educated. During the Greek war of independence he sends 
24,000 men to the aid of the sultan, as a reward for which he 
is presented with the island of Candia at the close of the war. 
In 1831, aiming at complete independence, he makes war 
against the Porte. His son Ibrahim invades Syria, and cap- 
tures 'Akka (27th May, 1832), Damascus (8th July), and 
Haleb (21st Dec), destroys the Turkish fleet at Konyeh 
(Iconium), and threatens Constantinople itself. His vic- 
torious career, however, was terminated by the intervention 
of Russia and France. Syria is secured to Mohammed by 
the peace of Kutahyeh , but he is obliged to recognise the 
suzerainty of the Porte. At the instigation of the English, Sul- 
tan Mahmud renews hostilities with Egypt, but is decisively 
defeated by Ibrahim at Nisibi on 24th June, 1839. In con- 
sequence of the armed intervention of England and Austria, 
however, Ibrahim is compelled to quit Syria entirely, and 
Mohammed is obliged to yield to the Porte a second time. 
By the so-called firman of investiture in 1841 Sultan Abdu'l- 
Medjid secured the hereditary sovereignty of Egypt to the 
family of Mohammed 'Ali, the pasha renouncing his provin- 
ces of Syria, Candia, and the Hijaz, and binding himself to 
pay an annual tribute of 60,000 purses (about 306,000J.) 
to the Porte and to reduce his amiy to 18,000 men. During 
the last years of his life Mohammed fell into a state of im- 
becility, and died on 2nd Aug. 1849 in his palace at Shubra. 








Ibrahim Pasha , Mohammed 'Ali's adopted son , had al- 
ready taken the reins of government, in consequence of 
Mohammed's incapacity, in January 1848, but he died in 
November of the same year, and before his adoptive father. 
'Abbas Pasha, a son of Tusun Pasha and grandson of 
Mohammed f Ali, has generally been described by Europeans 
as a brutal, vicious, and rapacious prince. This, however, 
would seem to be a somewhat distorted view of his character, 
arising from the fact that he had inherited from his Arab 
mother a certain amount of ferocity and even cruelty, coupled 
with the dislike of a true son of the desert for European in- 
novations. He, however, maintained the strictest discipline 
among his officials , and the public security in Egypt was 
never greater than during his reign. His death is attributed 
to assassination. 

Sa'id Pasha , his successor, was Mohammed c Ali's third 
son. Thanks to his enlightened government and his taste 
for European civilisation, Egypt made considerable progress 
during his reign, although her finances were far from being 
in a satisfactory condition. He equalised the incidence of 
taxation, abolished monopolies, improved the canals, com- 
pleted the railways from Cairo to Alexandria and to Suez, 
and, above all, zealously supported the scheme of M. Fer- 
dinand de Lesseps for constructing a canal through the Isth- 
mus of Suez, which was opened in 1869 under his successor. 
During the Crimean war he was obliged to send an auxiliary 
army and considerable sums of money to the aid of the 
Porte. He died on 18th Jan. 1863, and was succeeded by 
his nephew — 

Isma'il Pasha, the second son of Ibrahim Pasha, who was 
born on 31st Dec. 1830. He had received the greater part 
of his education in France and had there acquired the strong 
preference for European institutions which characterised 
him throughout his reign. Unfortunately, however, he com- 
bined with this enlightenment a profound egotism and a 
tendency to duplicity and cunning , which in the end , in 
spite of his natural talents, proved his ruin. Most of his 
innovations, such as the foundation of manufactories and the 
construction of canals , railways, bridges , and telegraphs, 
were planned mainly in his own interest, though of course 
the country shared in the advantage, while even in the es- 
tablishment of schools , the reorganisation of the system of 
justice (p. 6), and the like, he acted rather with an eye 
to produce an impression in Europe than from real concern 
for the needs of his subjects. As time went on he succeeded 
in appropriating for his own use about one-fifth of the cul- 
tivable land of Egypt. In 1866, ' «—««- »' - i""" 

in consideration of a large 

1 08 HISTORY. 





sum of money, he obtained the sanction of the Porte to a new 
order of succession based on the law of primogeniture, and 
in 1867 he was raised to the rank of Khedive , or viceroy, 
having previously borne the title of wali, or governor of a 
province only. In 1873 the Khedive obtained a new firman 
confirming and extending his privileges (independence of 
administration and judiciaries ; right of concluding treaties 
with foreign countries ; right of coining money ; right of 
borrowing money; permission to increase his army and navy). 
The annual tribute payable to the Porte was at the same 
time raised to 133,635 purses (about 681,538i.). With re- 
gard to the warlike successes of the Khedive and the ex- 
tension of his dominions , see pp. 29, 30. — The burden 
of the public debt had now increased to upwards of 100 mil- 
lion pounds, one loan after another having been negotiated 
by the finance minister Ismail Siddik , who finally became 
so powerful that the Khedive deposed him in 1878 and caus- 
ed him to be privately put to death. The Powers now brought 
such a pressure to bear on the Khedive, that he was com- 
pelled to resign his private and family estates to the state 
and to accept a ministry under the presidency of Nubar 
Pasha , with the portfolio of public works entrusted to M. 
Blignieres and that of finance to Mr. Rivers Wilson. This 
coalition, however, soon proved unworkable ; Nubar Pasha 
quitted the ministry in oonsequence of the Khedive's encour- 
agement of a rising among the disbanded officers of the army, 
and early in 1879 the whole cabinet was replaced by a na- 
tive ministry under Sherif Pasha. The patience of the Great 
Powers was now at an end; and on the initiative of Germany 
they demanded from the Porte the deposition of Isma'il, 
which accordingly took place on June 26th. 

Isma'il was succeeded by his son Tewfik (pronounced 
Tevfik) or Taufik, under whom the government was carried 
on in a more rational spirit, especially after Riaz Pasha be- 
came the head of the ministry. The debts were regulated, 
an international commission of liquidation was appointed, 
and an extensive scheme of reform was undertaken. In Sept., 
1881, however, a military revolution broke out in Cairo, 
which had for its objects the dismissal of the ministry, the 
grant of a constitution , and above all the emancipation of 
Egypt from European influences. The Khedive was besieged 
in his palace and had to yield; he appointed Sherif president 
of a new ministry and arranged for an election of Notables, 
or representatives. As the latter espoused the 'national' 
cause, Sherif resigned in Feb., 1882, and Mahmud Pasha 
formed a new ministry, the programme of which tallied 
exactly with the demands of the national party. The new 





cabinet, the soul of which was Arabi Bey, the energetic min- 
ister of war, at once proceeded, without receiving the con- 
sent of the Khedive, to pass several measures intended to 
diminish the European influence in the politioal and finan- 
cial administration of the country. The consuls general 
were assured that no danger threatened the Europeans, but 
were also told that any foreign intervention in the internal 
affairs of Egypt would be resisted by force. The Khedive, 
to whom both France and England had promised protection, 
declared that he would offer a determined resistance to the 
measures of the cabinet. At the end of May the British and 
French fleets made their appearance before Alexandria. In 
the middle of June serious disturbances broke out in that 
town , in the course of which many Europeans were killed, 
while the others found refuge on board the ships. On July 
11th and 12th Alexandria was bombarded by the British 
fleet, and on Sept. 13th the fortified camp of Arabi at Tell 
el-Kebir was stormed by a British force under Sir Garnet 
Wolseley. Arabi and his associates were captured and sent 
as exiles to Ceylon. Since these events English influence 
has been paramount in Egypt. In the autumn of 1883 a 
wide-spread rebellion broke out among the Nubian tribes 
of the Sudan under the leadership of Mohammed Ahmed, 
the so-called 'Mahdi' (p. 153), which threatened to be fatal 
to the Egyptian supremacy in the Sudan. An Egyptian 
army of 10,000 men under an Englishman named Hicks 
Pasha was annihilated in Nov., 1883, by theMahdi's forces, 
and a second expedition of 3500 regular troops of the Egyp- 
tian army, led by Baker Pasha, was also completely defeated 
at Tokar in February, 1884. On the 18th of the same month 
General Gordon , after a perilous ride across the desert, en- 
tered Khartum , which he had untertaken to save from the 
Mahdi; while on Mar. 1st and Mar. 13th the rebel tribes 
under the Mahdi's lieutenant Osman Digna were defeated at 
El-Teb and Tamanieb by the British troops under Graham. 
The Mahdi himself, however, still maintained his position 
near Khartum, and towards the close of the year a second 
British expedition (of 7000 men) was sent out under Wol- 
seley to rescue Gordon. 

Wolseley selected the Nile route for this expedition in 
preference to the shorter but more dangerous desert route 
from Souakin to Berber, but the ascent of the river proved 
a very tedious operation and it was not till the beginning of 
1885 that he was able to concentrate his troops at Korti, 
between the third and fourth cataracts (a little above Ed- 
Dabbe on the Map at p. 30). The Nile here makes an enorm- 
ous bend, and a detachment of 1500 men was now sent on 


in advance to cut off this bend and open communication 
with Khartum from Shendy, while the main body continued 
its laborious ascent of the Nile. The advanced brigade under 
General Stewart accomplished its march across the Bayuda 
Desert (see Map , p. 30) with complete success , gaining 
severely contested victories over large bodies of the Mahdi's 
followers at AbH Klea (Jan. 17th) and at a point near Me- 
temmeh (Jan. 19th). Stewart, however, was mortally wound- 
ed at the latter engagement. The British reached the Nile 
at Gubat, just above Metemmeh , on the evening of Jan. 
19th, and on Jan. 24th a small body of men under Sir Chas. 
Wilson set out for Khartum in two steamboats which Gordon 
had sent to meet them. Sir Charles reached Khartum on the 
28th, but found that it had already fallen on the 26th, ap- 
parently through treachery, and that Gordon was either dead 
or in the hands of the Mahdi. Upon the news of the fall of 
Khartum the British government, after consultation with 
General Wolseley, decided that it was necessary to arrest the 
progress of the Mahdi, and determined to dispatch reinforce- 
ments of 10,000 men to Souakin, to oo-operate with Wolseley 
from that base. The construction of a railway from Souakin 
to Berber was also Tesolved upon. At the time the Hand- 
book went to press the plan of Wolseley's farther operations 
was not definitely known ; but the loss of Khartum and the 
approach of the hot season had greatly complicated his 
task, and the advanced brigade had been recalled to join 
the main body. Though an absolutely trustworthy account 
of the fate of General Gordon has not yet been received, 
there is almost no room to doubt that he perished at the 
capture of Khartum. 

IV. Hieroglyphics. 

By Professor G. Ebers of Leipsic. 
The ancient Egyptians used three kinds of writing , the 
Hieroglyphic, the Hieratic, and the Demotic, to which, within the 
Christian era, was added the Coptic. The first and earliest is the 
pure Hieroglyphic writing, which consists of figures of material ob- 
jects from every sphere of nature and art, together with certain 

mathematical and arbitrary symbols. Thus ^Ov owl, * snail, 

| axe, D square, \QJ ? senti. This is the monumental writing, 

which is oftener found engraved on stone than written with a 
pen. For the speedier execution of long records the Egyptians next 

developed the Hieratic writing, in which the owl ( \, i. e. f\ ) 

almost ceases to be recognisable, and in which we possess literary 


works of every kind except dramas. The most ancient hieratic 
papyrus now extant was written in the third millennium before 
Christ. The language used in the hieroglyphic and hieratic writ- 
ings alike was the ancient sacred dialect of the priests. The 
Demotic writing, which was first employed in the 9th century 
before Christ, diverges so widely from the hieroglyphic that in 
some of the symbols the original sign from which they were deriv- 
ed is either not traceable, or can only be recognised with difficulty. 
The sign of the owl, for example, was curtailed to ^ . This writing 
was chiefly used in social and commercial intercourse ; as, for 
example, in contracts and letters, whence it was sometimes termed 
the 'letter character' by the Greeks. The more the spoken language 
diverged from the sacred dialect, which assumed a fixed form at a 
very early period, the more urgent became the want of a new mode 
of writing appropriate tothelivinglanguage. Thus arose the demotic 
style, and lastly, in the 3rd century after Christ, the Coptic, in 
which the language spoken at that time by the Christian Egyptians 
was written, the characters being Greek, with a few supplementary 
symbols borrowed from the demotic (such as u$ sh, «J / 1 sS ch, 
2^bi <£ c, "2S. j, and the syllabic 't '0- Many Coptic writings, 
chiefly of a religious character, have been handed down to us, the 
finest of them being the books of the Old and New Testament. 

Down to the end of the 18th century scholars had been misled 
in their endeavours to find a clue to the hieroglyphic writing by a 
work of the Egyptian grammarian Horapollon, translated into 
Greek, who represented the characters as being purely symbolical, 
and as having each an independent meaning of its own. At length 
in 1799 M. Boussard, a French officer of artillery, discovered at 
Rosetta a trilingual inscription (pp. 449 et seg.), in hieroglyphic 
and demotic characters and in Greek. The demotic part of the in- 
scription was examined by M. Silvestre de Sacy, a French savant, 
and Hr. Ackerblad, a Swede , in 1802, and , chiefly owing to the 
exertions of the latter, the signification of a number of the symbols 
was ascertained. In 1814-18 the hieroglyphic part of the inscrip- 
tion was studied by Dr. Th. Young, an English scholar, who, by 
comparing it with the demotic part, succeeded in dividing it into 
a numbeT of corresponding groups, and, by directing his attention to 
the cartouches (p. 117), discovered the signification of several of the 
hieroglyphic symbols. In 1821 Francois Champollion, usually sur- 
named Le Jeune, who possessed an intimate acquaintance with the 
Coptic language and literature, directed his attention to the hiero- 
glyphics, and in the course of the following year discovered the 
hieroglyphic alphabet, which afforded him a clue to the whole of 
the ancient Egyptian literature. His method, which he has ex- 
plained in his hieroglyphic grammar, though at first vehemently 
opposed, soon obtained able adherents, who after his early death 
in 1832 zealously took up and prosecuted the same line of research. 


Among these were the French savants MM. Ch. Lenormant, 
Nestor VHote, and Emmanuel de Rouge, the last of whom was the 
first to translate with philological accuracy a hieroglyphic text of 
any length, and the Italian scholars MM. Salvolini, Ungarelli, and 
Rosellini. The most distinguished English Egyptologists of the 
same school are Messrs. Osburn and Hincks, and Dr. Birch, who 
has compiled the first complete dictionary of the ancient language, 
and has translated numerous inscriptions. The most celebrated 
German Egyptologist is Prof. Richard Lepsius (d. 1881), the foun- 
der of the critical method of prosecuting philological and historical 
research. Thanks to the discoveries of these savants and others of 
the same school, the study of the subject has progressed so rapidly 
that the time is probably not far distant when students will be 
able to translate a hieroglyphic inscription with as great philologi- 
cal accuracy as the work of a Greek or Latin author. 

A glance at a single temple wall, or even at the annexed list 
of the names of the Egyptian kings, will show the traveller that 
we have not to deal here with an alphabetical mode of writing, the 
signs (about 2000 in number) being far too numerous. The ancient 
Egyptian writings were based on two different, but intimately con- 
nected systems : (1) the Ideographic, which, by the use of well-known 
objects as symbols of conceptions, sought to render its meaning in- 
telligible to a certain class of the community ; and (2) the Phonetic, 
which represents words by symbols of their sounds. Although we 
cannot now trace the rise and progress of hieroglyphic writing, as 
even the earliest specimens manifestly belong to an already per- 
fected system , we may at least safely assert that the ideogra- 
phic element preceded the phonetic ; for , as a child employs 
gestures earlier than speech, so nations use a symbolical form of 
writing before they arrive at a method of expressing sounds. The 
newer and more serviceable phonetic system must ultimately have 
superseded the ideographic, although occasionally calling in its 
aid as an auxiliary. In the perfected system, therefore, the sym- 
bols for sounds and syllables are to be regarded as the foundation 
of the writing, while symbols for ideas are interspersed with them, 
partly to render the meaning more intelligible, and partly for or- 
namental purposes, or with a view to keep up the mystic character 
of the hieroglyphics. 

The Phonetic signs are divided into alphabetical letters, such as 

b, 7A j or fe , a;„ f, etc., and syllabic signs, such as 


ar, _3) ha, \£\. seh, -p dnkh, (mm aner, etc. The 


syllable signs may, in order to fix their sounds with greater preci- 
sion, have as 'phonetic complements' one , several , or all of those 
sounds which the name of the syllable representing the sign in 


question contains. Thus nr , which stands for ankh, may also 
be represented by (1) *""""* "¥", (2) — nr © , (3) TT 

® 1 1 /www 1 

or (4) ■¥" . The reading is, however, facilitated by the fact that, 

1 ® 
in order to ensure the correct pronunciation of each syllabic sign, 

none but the most definite sounds were added to it. The symbol ( 

men, for example, is never written J^. '"'""' , as it might be, but al- 

most invariably i"'""i or i'"""i . It represents a chess-board with 


figures. The ideographic signs, or determinatives , are placed as 
explanatory adjuncts after the phonetically written groups. They 
are indispensable in elucidating the signification, for the Egyptian 
language, having been arrested in its development, is poor, and full 

of homonyms and synonyms. The symbol MMM dnkh, for ex- 

ample, means 'to live', 'to swear', 'the ear , 'the mirror', and 'the 
goat'. The reader would easily fall into errors, such as mistaking 
dnkh nefer for 'a beautiful life' instead of 'a beautiful goat', if the 
determinative, or class, sign did not come to his aid, and show to 
what category of ideas the object belonged. Thus, after dnkh, the 
goat, the Egyptians either placed a figure of that animal, or a piece 

of hide with a tail }a\ , which served as a common symbol for all 

quadrupeds. The symbol used to represent a particular word is 
termed a special, while one chosen to denote a class is termed a 

general, determinative. An elephant ^^OT placed after the group 
of — n )) , 56, 'the elephant', is a special determinative, while a 

lock of hair Tjji placed after f] EL senem, 'the mourning', is a 

general determinative, a lock of hair being the conventional emblem 
of grief, as the men were in the habit of cutting off their hair in 
token of sorrow. A word is frequently followed by several deter- 
minatives. Thus | ash is 'the cedar'; but the wood of the 
tree being scented, the group representing ash was not only fol- 
lowed by the figure of a tree Q , but also by the symbol £3 , which 

signifies that a perfumed object is spoken of. The special deter- 
minative always precedes the general. Symbols that were not 
capable of being very clearly engraved on stone were sometimes 
omitted, and the special determinative given alone. Instead of 
Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 8 



semsem, 'the horse'. 

often stands alone. In 

such cases we know the sense of the word, while its pronunciation 
must he gathered from other and fuller forms of it. The following 
words, which are written in various ways , may be given as an 





D 111 

Bullocks Geese 

In the first of these groups [| 8 Yj> ahu corresponds to the Coptic 

egocy ehou, and signifies bullocks, as the determinative symbol 

^teil shows. (The three strokes are the sign of the plural.) In the 

apet-u signifies geese, and is determined by 


next place 

J=» Ml r>^ 

the figure of that bird. Lastly [I p?" arp (Coptic Hpn, erp) means 

wine, and is associated with the general determinative & , i.e. the 
jars in which the juice of the grape used to be kept. In the second 
form of the sentence the syllabic writing is omitted, and the plural, 
instead of being denoted by three strokes, is expressed by the repe- 
tition of the special determinative. This leaves no doubt as to what 
is meant, while the first form gives us the actual words. 

We now give the most important symbols of sound of the an- 
cient Egyptian writing, and also a few syllabic signs. 

Hieroglyphic Alphabet. 
8. \\ i. 


10. v. 4 k. 

11. JJqork. 


14. A/VWVN 

15. D p. 

• V* 

16. A q- 

17. <=> r. 


19. i-«-i . 

20. o t. 

i (sh). 

» (th). 

22. <-^=-a t. 

23 -"l'i 

24. V , © u. 

25- © , T X ( k 


t (z). 

. 1 

1. i I men. 

2. I no/er. 

Important Syllables in Annexed List of Kings. 

16. V^ Hor (the god Horus). 


3. O '•<*■ 

4. Q Jfld. 

5. |_J *a or qa. 

6. I «sg)*. 


17. ^3>> Ae*. 

18. W !«'. 

19. <><=» d-d, a. 

20. 'V . V me»". 

21. 1 su. 


7. T? tat. 

8. A ra. 

9. §) ftd. 

10. jmj kheper. 

11. v ' »e6. 

12. ^]peA. 

13. •*^"\ «ft, aft, a. 

22. 4JJ jfad (goddess of truth). 

23. So Se« (the god Seth). 

24. \gv^ or Q sih, the son. 

25. J> » sotep (approved). 

26. !£H Rd (god of the sun). 

27. Si Amen (the god Amnion). 


Tahuti, Thoth (god of 
science, etc.). 



15. fR tries. 

28. ^n° Ptaft (the god Ptah). 

29. ^1 ba. 



43. Y - dnkh. 

30. , ft . hotep. 

31. I 1 me and met 

33. Hi a» (On, Heliopolis). 

34. <==== (a. 

35. nufcr. 


36. rl ase(t) (Isis). 49. V sera. 

37. fe^ khu. 50. ^^ rata. 

38. ph sa. 

51. ^J khn. 

39. fl Net (goddess 

40. Y uah. 


52. ^< sc6, tua. 

53. (*"i*l mm6. 

54. *==2? »»«(«. 

41. "O 1 a6 and dAM. 

55. <£2^ sebek. 

42. ^ *«. 

56. ^7 Aem. 

The form of the hieroglyphic signs is not invariable. Dur- 
ing the primaeval monarchy they were simple and large, while 
under the new empire they diminished in size but increased in 
number. The writing of the reigns of Thothmes III. and of Seti I. 
(18th and 19th dynasties) is remarkably good. In the 20th and fol- 
lowing dynasties the hieroglyphics show symptoms of decadence. 
The writing of the 24-26th dynasties is distinct and elegant, but 
has not the boldness peculiar to the primaeval monarchy. Under 
the Ptolemies the symbols acquired characteristics peculiar to this 
period alone , while many new hieroglyphics were added to the 
old ; the individual letters are , as a rule , beautifully executed, 
but the eye is offended by their somewhat overladen and cramped 
style. The method of writing, too , is changed. The phonetic 
element makes large concessions to the ideographic, and acrophony 


becomes very predominant : i.e., a. number of symbols are used to 
stand for the first letter only of the word they represent. Thus the 

syllabic symbol Mj| ser ('the prince') is used for the letter s alone ; 

nehem ('the lotus-bud') for n alone ; and so on. 
The frames within which the groups of hieroglyphics are en- 
closed CZZ> are termed 'cartouches'. Where they occur, the in- 
scription generally records the names of kings, and occasionally, 
but very rarely, those of gods. Above them usually stands the group 

suten sekhet , i. e. 'king of Upper and Lower Egypt', or 

neb taui , 'sovereign of both lands', or v. ■/> j*?, neb khd-u, 

'lord of the diadems'. 

"When the name of a king is to be deciphered, the alphabetical 
signs must first be noted, and then the syllabic symbols. The fol- 
lowing examples will illustrate this. 

The builder of the great pyramids is named — 

Khufu; © (25) being kh; "v\ 
(24) M; *W(5)Aand ^ (24) u. 

The builder of the second pyramid was 


Khafra. Here O is the 3rd syllabic sign ra; S, the 4th syl- 
labic sign kha; * — the letter f. This would give us rd-khd-f; 
but it is to be read khd-f-rd, or Khafra, as the syllable Ta, where- 
ever it occurs in the name of a king, is always placed first without 
regard to its proper place in the structure of the word. This was 
done out of respect for the holy name of Ra , the god of the sun, 
to which the Egyptians thus piously gave precedence. On the same 
principle the name of the builder of the Third Pyramid, O (3), 
i '""" i (1), and |_| (5), or ra-men-ka, is to be read Menkara or 
Menkera. — Several celebrated kings of the 18th Dynasty are termed 

I «5^_ m I • ^ ow q.5^ ™ ^ e l^ 4 * 1 syllabic sign tehuti or 

thut, fl\ the 15th syllabic sign mes, and U the 18th alphabetical 

letter, which is added as a phonetic complement to mes. The name 
is therefore to be read Tahut-mes or Thut-mes , the Greek form of 
which was Tuthmosis (commonly known as Thothmes). 




V. Frequently recurring Names of Egyptian Kings, t 

Selection by Prof. Ebers in Leipsie 
Khufu Khafra Men- 

(Che- kaura 



^1 < T -^- Assa - 5 - 

res) 5. 

Usertesen I. 12. Amenemha II. 12. Usertesen II. 12. Usertesen III. 12. 

Amenemha III. 12. Amenemha IV. 12. 









Shalati. „ , 

Hyksos. Hyksos. 

(Salatis). (Aphobis). 



t The numbers placed after the names are those of the different dynasties. 





Aahmes (Amo- Amenhotep (Ame- 
8is). 18. nophis) I. 18. 

Tutiues (Tuth- 
mosis) I. 18. 

Hor-em-heb (Horus) 
Amenhotep IV. 18. Seti I. (favourite of Ptah) 

(Khu-en-aten) 18. - — ^ ^ — . ». Ramses I. 19. 19i 







Ramses II., favourite of Ammon, and his father Seti I., 
the Sesostris of the Greeks. 






(o IP \\\ IS] I 



Sesetsu [Sesostris.) 

C n°n 1 * 









4 @ I 

Ramses IV. 20. 

Merneptah I. (Menephthes). 19. 

Seti II. (Merneptah). 19. 


Ramses III. 20. 

■ — ' 

1 4 


Ramses V. 20. Ramses VI. 20. Ramses VII. 20. 

V l 

t. ... nn Ramses IX. (Leps. Ramses X. (Leps. Ramses XI. (Leps. 

Ramses VIII. 20. Kamses XI.) 20. Ramses IX.) 20. Ramses XII.) 20. 

y PI, 





Ramses XII. (Leps. Sheshenk (Sesonchis) I. 2 2. 
Ramses XIII.) 20. /* 77TT77i v ■?■ •? /www 

Sheshenk IV. 23. 



v i 


i — i 


C m it in, *? Y Y /WWV\^\I J^ ^"\| 

Osorkon I. 22. 

Bokenranf (Bocchoris). 


( ft = fl ^^/^ ^*^J 

Takelut (Tiglath) I. 22. 

Shabak (Sabaco). 25. 

(S~V= ]( fai35}u] 

Taharka. 25. 

ra a 


Psammetikh 1. 26. Nekho26. Psammetikh 11.26. 

Queen Ameniritis. 






Uahphrahet (Ua- Kambatet Ntariush rish 

phris. Hophrah). AahmesII. (Ama- (Cambyses) (Darius). Darius. (Xerxes). 
26. sis). 26. 27. 27. 27. 27. 



I P 


J 1 

I J^ J 





1 W J 


1 \\ J 

Amenrut Nekht-nebf 

(Amyrtseus). , T , , , nn 

28. (Nectanebus). 30. 

Alexander I. Philip- ptolmis (Ptolemy I. 
pus An- 
dseus. 32. Soter). 33. 




Ptolemy III. Euerge- Queen Ptolemy IV. Philopa- Ptolemy V. Epi- 


tes I. 33. 

tor I. 33. 

phanes. 33. 

Ptolemy IX. Euerge- 
tes II. (Physcon). 





^ i 





V I 

Seven Ptole- 
maic prin- 
cesses of 
the name 
of Cleo- 
patra occur. 


Ptolemy X. Soter II 

or Philometor II. 
usually known as La- 
thy rus. 33. 

tra VII., 
of Cse- 
sar and 






Cleopatra VII., with Csesarion, her son by Csesar, and 
nominal co-regent. 33. 





and her son 



Caius Ca- 


v i 




1 — I 

D ^ 






and her son 




(Tibe- Nero. Vespasian, 

rius). 34. 34. 34. 


(3 o 






— H 

D \\ 


D <= 

Autocrator (abso- 
lute monarch) and 

Kisaros (Csesar). 

Epithets of all the 

emperors. 34. 


<g A 

^ A 

esar Au 
istus 34 


Caesar Au- 
gustus 34. 


tian. 34. 



V I 



\ 1 





Antoni- Aurelius. Commo- 

n™ 34. dus. 34 

Pius. 34. 

Severus. Antoninus. Geta. 
34 (Caracalla). 34 

n o 

o ^ 

2^-J± ^v^V^k^ 

VI. Religion of the Ancient Egyptians. 

The difficulty of thoroughly comprehending the fundamental ideas 
which underlay the religion of the ancient Egyptians is increased by 
two important circumstances. The first of these is, that the hier- 
archy of Egypt studiously endeavoured to ohscure their dogmas by the 
use of symbolical and mysterious language ; and the second is, that 
each nome possessed its own local divinity and colleges of priests, 
and invented its own cosmological and metaphysical allegories. 
This accounts for the differences of doctrine in a number of forms 
of worship bearing the same name, and for the frequency with 
which the attributes of one god trench on those of another. The 
primitive religion, moreover, underwent great changes as the capa- 
city of the hierarchy for more profound speculation increased, until 
at length the relations of the divinities to each other and to the 
fundamental ideas represented grew into a complicated system, 
understood by the limited circle of the initiated alone. This was 
styled the Esoteric Doctrine t , the leading idea of which was, 
that matter, though liable to perpetual modifications, was eternal 
and fundamentally immutable , incapable of increase or decrease, 
but endowed with intelligence and creative power. In the opinion 

t Esoteric (from laioxeptico?, inner, hidden) is a term applied to a mys- 
terious doctrine, known to the initiated only, the antithesis of which is 
the exoteric doctrine (from ^uiTepixo';, external, popular). 


of those who held this doctrine there could be no original act of 
creation , and no plurality of gods ; but a metaphysical conception 
so difficult of apprehension could not be propounded to the great 
body of the people. For the use of such persons it was, therefore, 
simplified, and clothed with allegorical forms, through the medium 
of which they might behold it as through a veil, somewhat obscured, 
but at the same time embellished and shorn of its terrors. This 
constituted the Exoteric Doctrine, with which was connected 
the theogony , or theory of the origin and descent of the divinities 
who represented the various forces and phenomena of nature. These 
gods, however, though not existent from all eternity, were neither 
created nor begotten, but were regarded as having been self-created 
in the wombs of their own mothers, and are therefore spoken of as 
'their own fathers', 'their own sons', and the 'husbands of their 
mothers'. The deities accordingly are seldom spoken of as single 
individuals, butintriads, asfather, mother, and son (comp. p. 130). 

The primary source from which all life proceeds, the first cause 
of all things, was clothed with a personal form , called Nun. The 
principle of light, and the creative power of nature, which implants 
in matter the germs of existence and light , was Khepera , or the 
scarabseus with the sun's disk, whose emblem was the beetle (scara- 
baeus sacer). As that insect rolls up into a ball the eggs which 
produce its offspring, and was supposed to have no female, so this 
deity was believed to have concealed within the globe of the world 
the germs of organic life. Ftah is the greatest of the gods , and is 
the embodiment of the organising and motive power developed from 
moisture (Nun). It is he who imparts form to the germs sown by 
Khepera, and under the name of Sekhem Nefer breaks the ball rolled, 
along by the scarabaeus, or in other words the egg of the universe, 
from which emerge his children, the elements and the forms of 
heaven and earth. Ka , a deity who bears seventy-five different 
forms , at first appears in the Nun under the name of Turn , or the 
evening sun ; during his passage through the lower hemisphere, 
that of night , he is known as Khnum , and is born anew on the 
next morning of the creation , bursting forth in the form of a child 
(Harmachis) from a lotus-flower floating on the Nun. Evening and 
night precede the morning and day ; and Amenthes , or the infernal 
regions, were believed to have existed before the upper regions 
which formed the scene of human life. 

After the breaking of the egg of the world, the universe is re- 
solved into three empires : — (1) The heavenly Nut, represented 
as a woman J)l, bending over the earth, on whose back float 
the vessel of the sun, the planets, and the constellations. (2) Seb, 
or the earth, which possesses the power of eternal rejuvenescence, 
and was regarded by the Egyptians as the symbol of eternity, a 
deity somewhat Tesembling the Greek Ohronos. (3) The Infernal 
Regions, which are presided over by Ptah, the power productive of 


new forms, the germinating principle of seeds, and god of light 
and heat (sometimes represented in the shape of a deformed child), 
and, after him, by Ra, who appears from the inscription on the royal 
tombs at Thebes to have been a purely pantheistic conception, the 
'frame of the universe' and 'the universe', and whose sphere there- 
fore embraced the lower as well as the upper regions. (See also 
Ra and Ammon.) 

The Sacred Animals and the Mixed Forms, which generally 
consist of human bodies with the heads of animals, frequently re- 
cur as companions of the gods, ot are used as emblems of the deities 
themselves. In each case those animals were selected whose 
inherent dispositions and habits corresponded to the power or 
phenomenon of nature personified in the god. Specimens of these 
animals were kept in and near the temples, and the finest of them 
were embalmed after death and revered in the form of mummies. 
Thus, the maternal divinities were appropriately represented 
by the cow, the patient mother and nurse ; the goddess of love, the 
bride of Ptah, was represented with the head of a fierce lion or a cat ; 
the crocodile was sacred to Sebek, the god who caused the waters of 
the Nile to rise ; and the hawk, which soars towards heaven like 
the sun, was dedicated to Ra. The symbol of Ptah was the black 
Apis bull , whose great power of generation seemed analogous to 
the never ceasing creative energy of the black soil of Egypt. 

The Egyptian Gods. The chief of the gods, as we have 
already mentioned, was Ptah, the Greek Hephaestus. He was the 
ancient god of Memphis, who delivered to Ra the germs of creation, 
and was assisted in his labours by the seven Khnumu or architects. 
As from him were supposed to emanate the laws and conditions 
of existence, he is also styled 'lord of truth'. He is represented in 
the form of a mummy , but with his hands protruding from the 

bandages, and grasping the symbol of life tt, that of stability 


and the sceptre . The neck-ornament called 'menat' is generally 

attached to his back, and on Ms head he usually wears a smith's cap. 
He sometimes occurs with a scarabaeus instead of a head. In view 
of his connection with the doctrine of immortality and with the 
infernal regions, he sometimes appears in the inscriptions as Ptah- 
Sokar-OsirU, who prescribes to the sun that has set, as well as to 
the mummies of the dead , the conditions under which they may 
rise again and enter on a new life. The 'primaeval Ptah' is also 
spoken of as the head of the solar gods, and also occasionally as the 
creator of the egg, from which , according to an older myth , the 
sun and the moon came forth. Thence , too , is derived his name, 
which signifies 'the opener'. By his side are often placed the 
goddess Sekhet (Pasht), and his son Imhotep (jEsculapius). 

His sacred animal was the Apis bull, which was the offspring 



of a -white cow impregnated by a moonbeam. In order to represent 
Apis worthily, a bull had to be sought which possessed a black hide, 
a white triangle on his foTehead, a light spot on his 
back in the form of an eagle, and under his tongue 
an excrescence shaped like the sacred scarabaeus. 
After his 'death the representative of Apis was 
embalmed and preserved in a sarcophagus of stone 
(p. 386). He was the symbol of the constantly 
operative fashioning power of the deity , and is on 
that account represented as the son of the moon, 
which , though never changing , appears to re- 
fashion itself every hour. The era of time named 
after Apis was a lunar period, containing 309 mean 
synodic months, which almost exactly corre- 
sponded with 25 Egyptian years. 

Ra, the great god of Heliopolis (On) in Lower 
Egypt , as the king of gods and men, ranks next to 
Ptah, and is, from the exoteric point of view, the 
sun who illumines the world with the light of his 
eyes, and the awakener of life. He rises as a child, 
under the name of Harmachis (Har-em-khuti), at 
midday he is called Ra, and at sunset he is re- 
presented as Turn, an old man subduing the 
enemies of Ra, who obstruct his entrance to the Ptah. 

lower regions which he traverses at night. During 
his course through the nether world he becomes the ram-headed 
Khnum (p. 129), or the nocturnal link between Turn and Har- 
machis, or evening and morning. As man in the region of the shades 
has to undergo many trials , so the ship of the sun , as soon as he 
has crossed the western horizon, no longer sails along the blue back 
of the goddess Nut . but along the sinuosities of the serpent Apep, 
the enemy of the setting sun, who is subdued and held in bondage 
by the companions of Ra. 

In rising Ra is born , and in setting he dies ; but his life is 
daily renewed by an act of self-procreation taking place daily in 
the bosom of nature, which was termed Isis, Muth, or Hathor. This 
goddess is frequently called the ruler of the nether regions, and is 
represented with the head of a cow, or in the form of a cow, which 
every morning gives birth to the young sun. Twelve human figures, 
each bearing the orb of the sun or a star on his head, represent the 
hours of the day and night. The animals specially sacred to Ra were 
the hawk ; the Upper Egyptian light-coloured Mnevis bull, which also 
belonged at a later period to Ammon Ra, and a specimen of which 
had even before that time been kept in the temple of the sun at 
Heliopolis ; and, lastly, lions with light skins. The Phoenix, or bird 
from the land of palms, called by the Egyptians bennu, which, 



according to the well known myth, awakes to new life after being 
burned, and brings its ashes to Heliopolis once every five hundred 
years, was also associated with the worship 
of Ea. As Apis is associated with Ptah , so 
this bird by the side of Ra is a symbol of 
the soul of Osiris. — Ra is generally re- 
presented with the head of a hawk, and co- 
loured red. He holds in his hands the sym- 
bols of life and sovereignty, and wears on 
his head a disk with the Ur»us serpent, or 
basilisk. According to the esoteric and pan- 
theistic construction of the inscriptions on 
the tombs of the kings, Ra is the great Uni- 
verse (to 7iav), and the gods themselves are 
merely so many impersonations of his 
various attributes (see Ammon Ra, p. 138). 

Turn , or Atum , a manifestation of Ra, 
whose name is perhaps akin to temt, signi- 
fying the universe, was first worshipped in 
Lower Egypt, particularly at Heliopolis and 
at the city of Pa-tum , that is, 'the place of 
Turn', the Pithom of Scripture. His rites 
were also celebrated in Upper Egypt at an 
early period. He is one of the oldest of the 
gods, having existed 'on the waters' in the 
dark chaos of the embryonic world, prior to 
the first sunrise, or birth of Harmachis from 
the lotus flower. According to the later ex- 
oteric views he was the setting sun, the 
harbinger of the coolness of evening. Under 
his guidance mankind was created by 
Khnum , and he was the dispenser of the 
welcome northerly breezes. He was also the 
approved warrior against the dark powers 
of the infernal regions which obstruct the 
progress of the sun's bark, and is repre- 
sented as a bearded man with a combined 
Upper and Lower Egyptian crown , or the 
orb of the sun, on Ms head, and the emblems 
of sovereignty and life in his hands. As the 
creator he sometimes has a scarabaeus for 
a head ; as Nefer- Turn he has the head of 
a lion, surmounted by a hawk crowned with 
lotus flowers , and holds an ut'a eye ^^^ 

Tum of Heliopolis, lord in his hand - As representing the setting of 
of the world. the sun preparatory to its rising again , he 

Harmachis, the great 



is also regarded as the god of the resurrection, as the hawk on his 
head indicates. 

Khnum (Greek Chnubis, Knuphis, or 
KnepK), one of the most ancient of the 
gods, who, while retaining his own at- 
tributes , was often blended with Am- 
nion, was chiefly worshipped in the region 
of the cataracts and in the oases of the 
Libyan desert. Being regarded as a link 
between the setting and the rising sun, 
he receives the sceptre of Ra beyond 
the western horizon (in which direction 
also lay the oases), and takes the place 
of that god during the progress of the 
sun through the nether world. Khnum 
('khnem', the uniting) was also the 
power which united the days of sterility 
with those of fecundity, and was there- 
fore specially revered in the island of 
Elephantine, near the first cataract, 
where the fertilising Nile first enters 
Egypt, as the god of the inundation and 
the dispenser of the gift of water. By his 
side usually stand the goddesses Anukeh 
and Sati. Khnum is one of the cosmic 
gods, who created the inhabitants of heaven. He and his assistants 
are associated with Ptah, and he is sometimes represented as mould- 
ing the egg of the world on a potter's wheel out of matter furnished 
by Ptah, and fashioning mankind. He is generally represented with 
the head of a ram , and coloured 
green. He occurs as often sitting as 
standing, wears the dtef crown on 
his head, and wields the sceptre 
and the symbol of life ; while fro.n 
his hips, proceeding from his girdle, 
depends a generative organ resemb- 
ling a tail , which is appended to 
the most ancient form of his apron. 

Ma, the goddess of truth and 
justice, is the radiant daughter of 
the god of the sun. She is easily 
recognised by the ostrich feather 
on her head, while in her hands she 
grasps the flower-sceptre and the 
symbol of life. In the more recent 
form of the ancient language she is 
termed T-mei (with the article), jia, daughter of Ra. 

Baedekek's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. y 




from which name an attempt has been made to derive that of the 
Greek goddess Themis, like whom Ma is represented as blind , or 
at least with bandaged eyes. 

Gods of the Osiris and Isis Okdeb. "We owe to Plutarch a 
detailed account of this myth, which has been uniformly corroborat- 
ed by the monuments, and which may be briefly told as follows. 

Isis and Osiris were 
the children of Rhea and 
Chronos, that is, of Nut, 
the goddess of space, and 
of Seb, the god of the earth, 
which, owing to its eternal 
rejuvenescence and im- 
perishableness, symbolis- 
es time. While still in the 
womb of their mother, that 
is, in the bosom of space, 
the children became unit- 
ed, and from their union 
sprang Horus. Typhon and 
Nephthys, children of the 
same parents , likewise 
married each other. Osiris 
and Isis reigned as a happy 
royal pair , bestowing on 
Egypt the blessings of 
wealth and prosperity. 
Typhon conspired against Osiris, and at a banquet persuaded him 
to enter a cunningly wrought chest , which he and his seventy-two 
accomplices then closed and threw into the Nile. The river carried 
the chest northwards, and so down to the sea by way of the estuary 
of Tanis ; and the waves at length washed it ashore near the Phce- 
nieian Byblus. Meanwhile Isis roamed in distress throughout the 
country, seeking her lost husband ; and she at length succeeded in 
discovering Ms coffin , which she carried to a sequestered spot and 
concealed. She then set out to visit her son Horus, who was being 
educated at Buto. During her absence Typhon, while engaged in a 
boar-hunt, found the body of the god, cut it into fourteen pieces, and 
scattered them in every direction. As soon as Isis learned what had 
happened, she collected the- fragments, and wherever one had been 
found erected a monument on the spot to its memory ; and this ac- 
counts for the numerous tombs of Osiris mentioned as existing in 
Egypt and elsewhere. Osiris, however, was not dead. He had con- 
tinued his existence and his reign in the lower regions, and after his 
burial he visited his son Horus, whom he armed and trained for battle. 
The young god soon began a war against Typhon, and was at length 
victorious, although he did not succeed intotallydestroyinghis enemy. 

The mythological Trinity or Triad. 
Osiris. Horus. Isis. 



Osiris is the principle of light, while Typhon is that of darkness, 
which Osiris defeats and banishes to the infernal regions. Isis Hathor 
mourns over his disappear- 
ance, follows him towards the 
West , where she gives birth 
to Horus, who annihilates 
darkness and restores his 
father to his lost position. 
When Ra is termed the soul 
of Osiris, the meaning is that 
he renders visible the hidden 
principle of light (Osiris). 
When , on the other hand, 
Osiris is regarded as emblem- 
atical of the principle of 
moisture , the most perfect 
embodiment of which is the 
godHapi, or the Nile, Typhon 
and his seventy-two com- 
panions represent the days of 
drought. Like the dead body 
of Osiris, the water flows to- 
wards the North, and the Ian- _ . . . , , . 
. ,. T . ,, , . ., Usiris, prince of eternity. 

guishing Isis, that is, the ' 

fruit-bearing earth, mourns over the loss of the fertilising power ; 
but this is for a short period only, for Horus soon vanquishes Ty- 
phon in the southern districts, and the rising Nile again begins to 
impregnate the black soil with abundant fertility. Lastly, when 
Osiris is regarded as the principle of life , Isis , the earth, is the 
scene of the operation of that principle, while Typhon represents 
death, and Horus the resurrection. If we regard Osiris , as the 
monuments so frequently do, as a pure and perfect being, the 
principle of the good and the beautiful, in which case he receives the 
surname of Un-Nefer, we recognise in Typhon the discords with 
which life is so replete, but which seem to be permitted only in order 
that the purity of the harmonies into which they are resolved through 
the intervention of Horus may be the more thoroughly appreciated. 
Osiris, according to the exoteric doctrine, is also the sovereign of 
the lower regions and the judge of souls, which, if found pure, are 
permitted to unite with his. The dead, therefore, do not merely go 
to Osiris, but actually become Osiris. Osiris is always represented 
with a human head. He either sits as a king on his throne, or ap- 
pears in the form of a mummy. He always wields the scourge and 
crook, and sometimes other emblems also. The crown of Upper 
Egypt which he wears on his head is usually garnished before and 
behind with the ostrich feathers of truth. Beside him, even in 
very ancient representations , stands a kind of thyrsus or entwined 




rod, to which a panther-skin, the garb of his priests, is attached. 
In consequence of his function of promoting vegetable life, his 
wanderings, and perhaps also on account of this staff and skin, he 
was termed Dionysos (or Bacchus) by the Greeks. 

Typhon-Seth. The name Typhon is most probably of Greek 
origin. The Egyptians named him Seth, or Sutekh, and represented 

him as a fabulous animal 


or with the head of this animal 

and subsequently as an ass, an animal which was sacred to him, or 
with an ass's head. His name is met with in the most remote pe- 
riod, but he appears originally to have been worshipped merely as 
a god of war and the tutelary deity of foreigners. He is usually 
styled the brother of Horus, and the two are called the Rehehui, or 
hostile twins, who wounded each other in the battle above describ- 
ed. At a later period, after the god of battles and of foreigners 
had shown himself permanently unfavourable to the Egyptians, 
they ceased to render service to him, and erased his name from 
the monuments on which it occurred, and even from the cartouches 
of the most highly extolled kings. With regard to his connection 
with the myth of Osiris and Isis, see p. 130. 

Nephthys, the wife of Seth, was called by the Greeks Aphrodite 
or Nike (Victory) , probably on account of her being the wife of 
the god of war. Her proper sphere was the 
nether world. In the upper world she occurs as 
the nurse or instructress of the youthful Horus, 
and she appears with Isis, mourning and beating 
her forehead, at the funeral rites of Osiris, 
whom she had loved, and to whom, being mis- 
taken by him in the dark for Isis, she had borne 
Anubis. She is also associated with Osiris and 
Isis, with the youthful Horus and Isis, and 
even, as one of a tetrad , with Osiris , Isis , and 
Horus. She is usually represented with the sym- 

neb-hat, mistress of the house) on 

her head , which is adorned with the vulture 
cap, and grasping in her hands the flower- 
sceptre and the symbol of life. 

Anubis was the guide of the dead to the 

infernal regions and the guardian of Hades, of 

In the form of a jackal, or with 


Neb-hat (Nephthys). 

which he is termed the master 

the head of a jackal , he presides over funeral rites' aTiTguaras the 
kingdom of the West. 

Horus, who occurs in many different forms, invariably represents 
the upper world or region of light, and also regeneration resur- 
rection, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil, of life over 
death, of light over darkness, and of truth over falsehood. He is 



constantly called the 'avenger of his father' ; and detailed illustra- 
tions of his contest with Typhon, dating chiefly from the period 

Horns, avenger of 

his fattier, son of 

Isis and Osiris. 

Horus , son 

of Isis, mas- 

■ J 

ter of 



i » 



of the Ptolemies, have been handed down to us. In the form 
of a winged disk of the sun he opposed Typhon and his com- 
panions, being aided by the 
Uraeus serpents entwined on the 
disk. As the god of light (Har- 
machis, i.e. Horus on the ho- 
rizon) he merges into Ra, as 

he personifies the resurrection of the young light from darkness. 
The 'young Horus' springs in the form of a naked child with the 
lock of infancy from the lotus flower. Under the name of Hor-hut 
(Horus, the wing-expander) he overthrows Seth and his asso- 
ciates in behalf of Ra Harmachis, who, as a god of light, is con- 
sidered equal to Osiris. Ra is equivalent to the Helios of the 
Greeks, and the young Horus and Hor-hut to Apollo. The hawk, 
with whose head, he is represented, is the animal sacred to him 

and the bird itself with a scourge on its back sometimes 

stands for him. 

Thoth (Egyptian Tahuti, Greek Hermes) is primarily revered 
as the god of the moon, and in this capacity often takes the place 
of Khunsu (p. 138). As the phases of the moon formed the 



basis of the earliest reckoning of time , Thot was regarded as the 
dispenser of time and the god of measures, numbers , and indeed 
of everything subject to fixed laws. Lastly he was also regarded as 
the mediator by whose aid human intelligence manifests itself, as 
the god of writing, of the sciences, of libraries, and of all the arts 
which tend to refine life. In the infernal regions he records the re- 
sult of the weighing of hearts, keeps a register of the trials of the 
dead, and exhorts their souls to return to the radiant spirit of the 

universe. He is represented as an ibis on a standard 

, or with 

the head of an ibis, and frequently crowned with the disk of the 
moon and the ostrich-feather of truth. In his hands are a reed and a 

writing tablet, or, instead of the latter, 
a palette. He sometimes appears with a 
crown and sceptre, but very rarely has a 
human head. The animals sacred to him 
are the dog-headed ape and the ibis. 

Dog-headed ape of Toth. 


Safekh. A goddess who is associated with Thoth, but whose 
precise name is unknown, is always designated as Safekhu , i.e. 
one who has laid down her horns, as she bears these appendages re- 
versed over her forehead. She is the tutelary deity of libraries of 
sacred writings and lists, and therefore of history also. She holds 
in her left hand a palm-branch with innumerable notches marking 
the flight of time, and with her right she inscribes on the leaves of 
the persea tree all names worthy of being perpetuated. 



Isis. Mnth. Hathor. These three goddesses, although extern- 
ally regarded as separate, were really different modifications of the 
same fundamental idea. As a counterpart of the male generative 
principle , they all represent the female element, the conceiving 
and gestative principle, or the receptacle in which the regeneration 
of the self-creating god takes place. Muth, whose name signifies 
mother, is represented as a vulture, or with a vulture's head. She 
is the great birth-giver , who protects Osiris and Pharaoh with her 
outspread wings, and she guards the cradle of the Nile, whose 
mysterious source is defended by a serpent. The functions of Isis 
(p. 130), who endows everything that is capable of life on earth 
with the good and the beautiful, have already been mentioned. She 
wears on her head the vulture cap, cow's horns, and the disk of the 

moon, or the throne fj , or all four combined, 
represented with a scorpion 

As Jsis Selk, she is 
hovering over her head, as Isis 

Neith, who is also equivalent to Muth, usually with a weaver's 
shuttle >CZK , while as Isis Sothis, or the dog-star, she sails in a 
boat. She is also represented as suckling the infant Horus in her 
lap. Her sacred animal is the cow , which belongs also to Isis 
Hathor. The name Hathor signifies 'house of Horus', for within 


Isis and Horus. 

Isis Sothis. 

the bosom of this goddess the young god gave himself new 
life. She is the goddess of love, the great mother, who accords her 
divine protection to all earthly mothers, the dispenser of all the 



blessings of life, the beautiful goddess who fills heaven and earth 
with her beneficence, and whose names are innumerable. At a later 
period she was regarded as the muse of the dance, the song, the jest, 
and even of the wine-cup. The cord and tambourine in her hand 
denote the fettering power of love and the joys of the festivals 


Isis Hathor. 



over which she presided. Her sacred animal was the cow, and she 
generally appears in the form of a youthful woman with a cow's head, 
bearing the disk between her horns ; and she is even spoken of as 
the mother of the sun (p. 127). Hathor also plays an important part 
as mistress of the nether world, where she is usually called Mer-Sekhet. 

Sekhet. Bast (or Pasht). These goddesses likewise coincide 
more or less with the many-named Hathor ; fout the lion or cat- 
headed deity known by these and many other names possesses 
several characteristics entirely peculiar to herself. She is called the 
daughter of Ra and the bride of Ptah , and personifies sexual pas- 
sion. Represented as a Urseus basilisk of the crown of Ra, she is 
a symbol of the scorching heat of the orb of day; in the nether 
regions she fights against the serpent Apep , and in the form of a 
lion-headed woman or a cat, brandishing a knife, she chastises the 
guilty. But she also possesses kindly characteristics. : As Sekhet', 
we are informed by an inscription at Phil*, 'she is terrible, and 
as Bast she is kind.' The cat, her sacred animal, was long an object 
of veneration. She wears on her head the disk with the Ursus 
serpent, and holds in her hands the sceptre and the symbol of life. 

Sebek, a god who also appears in union with Ra as Sebek 



Ra , is represented with the head of a crocodile , and was chiefly 
revered in the region of the cataracts at Silsili, Kom-Ombu, and in 
the Fayum (p. 457). At Kom-Ombu Sebek forms a triad in con- 
junction with Hathor and Khunsu. His crocodile head is crowned 
with the disk, the Uraeus basilisks, and the double feather. He 
grasps the sceptre and the symbol of life in his hands , and is 
coloured green. His sacred animal, the crocodile, was kept in 
his honour, but a certain Typhonic character was attributed to the 
reptile, as the sacred lists omit those nomes where it was worshipped. 

Sekhet Bast. 


Khem Amun. 

Ammon-Ra. Ra (p. 127), with whose worship the rites of many 
other divinities were combined, and whose attributes were frequently 
merged in those of Osiris, reigned, according to the later inscrip- 
tions , as the great monarch of the gods, but Ammon, who was 
revealed to the exoterics as a son of Ptah, obtained possession of 
the throne of this world , while Ra continued his sovereignty in 
Amenthes, or the nether regions. Ammon, whose name signifies 
'the hidden one', is a deity of comparatively late origin, having 
been at first merely the local god of Thebes ; but after the valley 
of the Nile had been delivered from the Hyksos under his auspices, 
and after Upper Egypt and Thebes had gained the supremacy over 
Lower Egypt and Memphis, he was raised to the rank of king of 
all the gods. The attributes of almost the entire Pantheon of 
Egypt were soon absorbed by this highly revered deity. He reposes 
as a hidden power in Nun , or the primordial waters, and during 



the process of his self-procreation he is termed Khem. As soon as 
he has manifested himself, he, as 'the living Osiris', animates and 
spiritualises all creation, which through him enters upon a higher 
stage of existence. On the human beings fashioned by Turn he 
operates mysteriously, disposing them to a love of discipline and 
order, and to an abhorrence of all that is iTregulaT, evil, and unsightly. 
Justice, which punishes and rewards, is subject to Mm, and even 
the gods 'prostrate themselves before him', acknowledging the 
majesty of the great Inscrutable. Every other god now came to be 
regarded as little else than a personification of some attribute of the 
mysterious Ammon, god of the gods, standing in the same relation to 
him as models of parts of a figure to the perfect whole. The monu- 

Ammon-Ra, King of the gods. 

ments at Thebes represent him enthroned or standing, coloured 
blue or black, generally adorned with the long feather head-dress 
termed shuti , sometimes with the crown of Upper Egypt alone 

or with that of Upper and Lower Egypt , and sometimes with 

a helmet or diadem on his head. In his hands he wields all kinds 
of royal insignia , such as the sceptre , the scourge , the crook , and 
the symbol of life. When represented with a ram's head he is 
termed Ammon-Khnum , Knuphis, or Kneph (p. 129). Beside 
him in the great triad of Thebes stand Muth, the maternal principle 
(p. 135), and Khunsu or Khons, who represents the operation of 
divine intelligence in the external world, and particularly in its 


relation to human affairs. He is the 'destroyer of enemies', he aids 
mankind in the battle of life, and he heals the sick. To his head 
the moon is attached by the infantine lock. From his wanderings as 
the god of the moon, and from the vigour with which he destroyed 
evil spirits, he was identified with Heracles by the Greeks. 

Doctrine of Immortality. From the account of the worship of 
Isis and Osiris it is obvious that the Egyptians believed in the im- 
mortality of the soul (whence arose the prevalent worship of 
ancestors), in amoral responsibility, and in a future state of rewards 
and punishments. The doctrine with regard to the life of the soul 
after death was not , however , at all times and in all places the 
same. According to the Egyptian belief, every human being con- 
sisted of three distinct parts , which during the period of life were 
closely united : (1) the body, a portion of matter ; (2) the 'sahu\ 
or soul, which belonged to the nether world and ultimately re- 
turned thither; and (3) the l khu', an emanation of the divine 
intelligence. Each of these elements could be separated from 
the others , but whatever changes it underwent, it was immutable 
in quantity and quality. As the god of the sun is always the 
same and yet hourly different, being at first Horus, then Ra, next 
Turn, and finally Khnum, so it was with the soul and the in- 
telligence which fills and illuminates it , and which , as soon as 
the gates of the tomb are opened for its reception , speaks and acts 
for it. Once within the gates of Amenthes, the soul had to undergo 
many trials. Ferocious beasts had to be conquered , demons to be 
subdued , and castles to be stormed , and all this was to be done 
with the aid of texts and hymns written on papyrus and scarabaei, 
ut'a eyes, and other amulets swathed in the bandage of the mummy. 
At length the soul reached the hall of double justice, where the 
heart in its vase <fy was placed in one scale and the goddess of 
truth in the other. Horus and a cynocephalus conducted the process 
of weighing, Anubis superintended, Thoth recorded the result, and 
Osiris with forty-two counsellors pronounced sentence. If the heart 
was found too light, the soul was condemned so suffer the torments 
of hell, or to continue its existence in the bodies of animals, within 
a certain period after which it returned to its original body to begin 
life anew, and had afterwards to undergo another trial by the judges 
of Hades. If the heart was found sufficiently heavy, Osiris restored 
it to the soul ; the 'sahu' might then return to its mummy ; its 
intelligence, after a period of purification in the regions of the 
blessed, might unite with the divinity from which it had emanated, 
and, merged in Horus, Osiris, etc., might traverse the heavens in 
the boat of the sun , or walk anew among the living in any form it 
pleased. Finally both the 'sahu' and the intelligence were re- 
united to the dead body they had quitted, which its mummification 
had preserved from decay, and which awaited the return of the soul 
from Amenthes or from its sojourn in the bodies of animals. 



Index to the Egyptian Deities. 

Ammon-Iia, page 137. 
Anubis, 132. 
Anukeh, 129. 
Apep, the serpent, 127. 
Apis, 126. 
Bast, 136. 

Harmachis, 127. 133. 
Hathor, 135. 
Horus, 130. 132. 
Imhotep, 126. 
Immortality , doctrine 

of, 139. 
Infernal regions, 125. 
Isis, 130. 135. 

— Neith, 135. 

— Selk, 135. 

Isis Sothis, page 135. 

Khem, 138. 

Khepera, 125. 

Khnum (Chnubis), 129. 

Khons, or Khunsu , 138. 

Ma, 129. 

Mer-Sekhet (Hathor), 136 

Muth, 135. 

Neb-hat, or — 

Neph'thys, 130, 132. 

Nefer-Tum, 128. 

Neith, 135. 

Nun, 125. 

Nut, 125. 

Osiris, 130. 

Pasht, 136. 

Phoenix, page 127. 
Ptah, 125. 126. 
Ra, 125. 127. 133. 
Sacred animals, 126. 
Safekh, 134. 
Sati, 129. 
Seb, 125. 
Sebek, 136. 
Sekhem Nefer, 125. 
Sekhet, 136. 126. 
Seth (Typhon), 132. 
Sokar-Osiris, 126. 
Sutekh, 132. 
Thoth (Tahuti), 133. 
Turn, 125. '127. 128. 
Tvphon, 130. 132. 

VII. Doctrines of El-Islam. 
Manners and Customs of the Mohammedans. 

(By Prof. Socin, of Tubingen.) 

Mohammed +, as a religious teacher, took up a position hostile 
to the 'age of ignorance and folly', as he called heathenism. The 
revelation -which he believed it was his mission to impart was, 
as he declared, nothing new. His religion was of the most remote 
antiquity, all men being supposed by him to be born Muslims, 
though surrounding circumstances might subsequently cause them 
to fall away from the true religion. Even in the Jewish and Chris- 
tian scriptures (the Thorah, Psalms, and Gospels), he maintained, 
there were passages referring to himself and El-Islam, but these 
passages had been suppressed , altered , or misinterpreted. So far 
as Mohammed was acquainted with Judaism and Christianity , he 
disapproved of the rigour of their ethics , which were apt to 

t Mohammed ('the praised', or 'to be praised') was a scion on the 
paternal side of the family of Hashim, a less important branch of the 
noble family of Kureish, who were settled at Mecca, and were custodians 
of the Ka'ba. His father 'Abdallah died shortly before his birth (about 
570). In his sixth year his mother Amina took him on a journey to 
Medina, but died on her way home. The boy was then educated by his 
grandfather <Abd el-Muttalib, and, after the death of the latter two years 
later, by his uncle Abu Talib. For several years Mohammed tended 
sheep. He afterwards unde'rtook commercial journeys, at first in company 
with his uncle , and then , when about twenty-five years of age , in the 
service of the widow Khadija, who became his first wife. On one of these 
journeys he is said to have become acquainted with the Christian monk 
Bahira at Bosra. 

' About that period a reaction in the religious life of the Arabs had 
set in , and when Mohammed was about forty years of age he too was 
struck with the vanity of idolatry. He suffered from epilepsy, and during 
his attacks imagined he received revelations from heaven. He can scarcely, 
therefore, be called an impostor in the ordinary sense. A dream which 
he had on Mt. Hira, near Mecca, gave him the first impulse, and he soon 


degenerate into a body of mere empty forms, while he also rejected 
their dogmatic teaching as utterly false. Above all he repudiated 
whatever seemed to him to savour of polytheism , including the 
doctrine of the Trinity , as 'assigning partners' to the one and 
only God. Every human being who possesses a capacity for belief 
he considered bound to accept the new revelation of El-Islam, 
and every Muslim is bound to promulgate this faith. Practically, 
however, this stringency was afterwards relaxed, as the Muslims 
found themselves obliged to enter into pacific treaties with nations 
beyond the confines of Arabia. A distinction was also drawn be- 
tween peoples who were already in possession of a revelation, such 
as Jews, Christians, and Sabians, and idolaters, the last of whom 
were to be rigorously persecuted. 

The Muslim creed is embodied in the words : 'There is no God 
but God (Allah +), and Mohammed is the prophet of God' (Id ilaha 
ilV Allah , wa Muhammedu-rrasul- Allah). This formula , however, 
contains the most important doctrine only ; for the Muslim is bound 
to believe in three cardinal points : (1) God and the angels , (2) 
written revelation and the prophets, and (3) the resurrection, judg- 
ment, eternal life, and predestination. 

(1). God and the Angels. According to comparatively modern 
inscriptions ('Syrie Centrale', pp. 9, 10) it would appear that the 
emphatic assertion of the unity of God is by no means peculiar to 
Mohammedanism. As God is a Spirit, embracing all perfection 
within Himself, ninety-nine of his different attributes were after- 
wards gathered from the Koran, each of which is represented by a 
bead of the Muslim rosary. Great importance is also attached to 
the fact that the creation of the world was effected by a simple effort 
of the divine will. (God said 'Let there be', and there was.) 

The story of the creation in the Koran is taken from the Bible, 
with variations from Rabbinical , Persian , and other sources. God 
first created his throne ; beneath the throne there was water ; the 

began with ardent enthusiasm to promulgate monotheism, and to warn 
his hearers against incurring the pains of hell. It is uncertain whether 
Mohammed himself could read and write. His new doctrine was called 
Islam, or subjection to God. At first he made converts in his own family 
only, and the 'Muslims' 1 were persecuted by the Meccans. Many of them, 
and at length Mohammed himself (622J, accordingly emigrated to Medina, 
where the new religion made great progress. Alter the death ofKhadija, 
Mohammed took several other wives, partly from political motives. 

He now endeavoured to stir up the Meccans , and war broke out in 
consequence. He was victorious at Bedr, but lost the battle of the Uhud. 
His military campaigns were thenceforth incessant. He obtained great 
influence over the Beduins , and succeeded in uniting them politically. 
In 630 the Muslims at length captured the town of Mecca , and the idols 
in it were destroyed. Mohammed's health, however, had been completely 
undermined by his unremitting exertions for about twenty-four years; 
he died on 8th June, 632, at Medina, and was interred there. 

t Allah is also the name of God used by the Jews and Christians 
who speak Arabic. 


earth was then formed. In order to keep the earth steady , God 
caused it to be supported by an angel, placed on a huge rock, which 
in its turn rests on the back and horns of the bull of the world. 
And thus the earth is kept in its proper position. 

Simultaneous with the creation of the firmament was that of the 
Ginn (demons), beings occupying a middle rank between men 
and angels , some of them believing , others unbelieving. These 
ginn are frequently mentioned in the Koran , and at a later period 
numerous fables regarding them were invented. To this day the 
belief in them is very general. When the ginn became arrogant, an 
angel was ordered to banish them , and he accordingly drove them 
to the mountains of Kaf by which the earth is surrounded, whence 
they occasionally make incursions. Adam was then created, on the 
evening of the sixth day, and the Muslims on that account observe 
Friday as their Sabbath. After the creation of Adam came the fall 
of the angel who conquered the ginn. As he refused to bow down 
before Adam he was exiled, and thenceforward called Iblts, or the 
devil. After this, Adam himself fell, and became a solitary wan- 
derer, but was afterwards re-united to Eve at Mecca, where the 
sacred stone in the Ka'ba derives its black colour from Adam's tears. 
At Jidda, the harbour of Mecca, the tomb of Eve is pointed out to 
this day. Adam is regarded as the first orthodox Muslim; for God, 
from the earliest period, provided for a revelation. 

Besides the creative activity of God , his maintaining power is 
specially emphasised, as being constantly employed for the preser- 
vation of the world. His instruments for this purpose are the 
angels. They are the bearers of God's throne, and execute his 
commands. They also act as mediators between God and men, 
being the constant attendants of the latter. When a Muslim prays 
(which he does after the supposed fashion of the angels in heaven), 
it will be observed that he turns his face at the conclusion first over 
his right and then over his left shoulder. He thereby greets the 
recording angels who stand on each side of every believer, one on 
the right to record his good , and one on the left to record Ms evil 
deeds. The traveller will also observe the two stones placed over 
every grave in a Muslim burial-ground. By these sit the two angels 
who examine the deceased , and in order that the creed may not 
escape his memory it is incessantly chanted by the conductor of 
the funeral. 

While there are legions of good angels, who differ in form, but 
are purely ethereal in substance , there are also innumerable sa- 
tellites of Satan , who seduce men to error and teach them sorcery. 
They endeavour to pry into the secrets of heaven, to prevent which 
they are pelted with falling stars by the good angels. (This last is 
a notion of very great antiquity.) 

(2). Written Revelation and the Prophets. The necessity 
for a revelation is based on the dogma of original sinlessness, and 


on the natural inclination of every human being towards Islamism. 
The earliest men were all believers , but they afterwards fell away 
from the true faith. A revelation therefore became necessary , and 
it is attained partly by meditation, and partly by direct communi- 
cation. The prophets are very numerous , amounting in all , it is 
said, to 124,000; but their ranks are very various. Some of them 
have been sent to found new forms of religion , others to maintain 
those already existing. The prophets are free from all gross sins ; 
and they are endowed by God with power to work miracles , which 
power forms their credentials ; nevertheless they are generally 
derided and disbelieved. The greater prophets are Adam , Noah, 
Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammed. 

Adam is regarded as a pattern of human perfection , and is 
therefore called the 'representative of God'. — Noah's history is 
told more than once in the Koran, where it is embellished with 
various additions , such as that he had a fourth, but disobedient 
son. The preaching of Noah and the occurrence of the Deluge are 
circumstantially recorded. The ark is said to have rested on Mt. 
Judi, nearMossul. The giant 'Uj, sonof'Enak, survived the flood. 
He was of fabulous size, and traditions regarding him are still 
popularly current. 

Abraham (Ibrahim) is spoken of by Mohammed as a personage 
of the utmost importance, and in the Koran, as well as in the Bible 
he is styled the 'friend of God' (comp. James ii. 23). Mohammed 
professed to teach the 'religion of Abraham', and he attached special 
importance to that patriarch as having been the progenitor of the 
ATabs through Ishmael. Abraham was therefore represented as 
having built the Ka'ba, where his footprints are still shown. One of 
the most striking passages in the Koran is in Sureh vi. 76, where 
Abraham is represented as first acquiring a knowledge of the one 
true God. His fatheT was a heathen , and Nimrod at the time of 
Abraham's birth had ordered all new-born children to be slain (a 
legend obviously borrowed from the Slaughter of the Innocents at 
Bethlehem) ; Abraham was therefore brought up in a cavern, which 
he quitted for the first time in his fifteenth year. 'And when night 
overshadowed him he beheld a star, and said — This is my Lord ; 
but when it set, he said — I love not those who disappear. And 
when he saw the moon rise, he said again — This is my Lord ; but 
when he saw it set, he exclaimed — Surely my Lord has not 
guided me hitherto that I might go astray with erring men. Now 
when he saw the sun rise, he spake again — That is my Lord ; he 
is greater. But when it likewise set , he exclaimed — people, 
I will have nothing to do with what ye idolatrously worship ; for 
I turn my face steadfastly towards Him who created heaven and 
earth out of nothing ; and I belong not to those who assign Him 

Besides the slightly altered Bible narratives, we find a story of 


Abraham having been oast into a furnace by Nimrod for having 
destroyed idols , and having escaped unhurt (probably borrowed 
from the miracle of the three men in the fiery furnace). 

The history of Moses, as given in the Koran, presents no 
features of special interest. He is called the 'speaker of God' ; he 
wrote the Thorah, and is very frequently mentioned. — In the story 
of Jesus Mohammed has perpetrated an absurd anachronism , Mary 
being confounded with Miriam , the sister of Moses. Jesus is call- 
ed Tsa in the Koran ; but 'Isa is properly Esau, a name of reproach 
among the Jews ; and this affords us an indication of the source 
whence Mohammed derived most of his information. On the other 
hand, Jesus is styled the 'Word of God', as in the Gospel of St. 
John. A parallel is also drawn in the Koran between the creation 
of Adam and the nativity of Christ ; like Adam , Jesus is said to 
have been a prophet from childhood, and to have wrought miracles 
which surpassed those of all other prophets , including even Mo- 
hammed himself. He proclaimed the Gospel, and thus confirmed 
the Thorah ; but in certain particulars the latter was abrogated by 
him. Another was crucified in his stead, but God caused Jesus 
also to die for a few hours before taking him up into heaven. 

Modern investigation shows with increasing clearness how little 
originality these stories possess, and how Mohammed merely repeat- 
ed what he had learned from very mixed sources (first Jewish , and 
afterwards Christian also), sometimes entirely misunderstanding 
the information thus acquired. The same is the case with the 
numerous narratives about other so-called prophets. Even Alexan- 
der the Great is raised to the rank of a prophet , and his campaign 
in India is represented as having been undertaken in the interests 
of monotheism. Alexander is also associated with the Khidr , or 
animating power of nature , which is sometimes identified with 
Elijah and St. George. The only other matter of interest connected 
with Mohammed's religious system is the position which he himself 
occupies in it. Moses and Christ prophesied his advent , but the 
passages concerning him in the Thorah and Gospels have been sup- 
pressed. He is the promised Paraclete, the Comforter (St. John 
xiv. 16), the last and greatest of the prophets ; but he does not 
profess to be entirely free from minor sins. He confirms previous 
revelations, but his appearance has superseded them. His whole 
doctrine is a miracle, and it therefore does not require to be 
confirmed by special miracles. After his death, however, a number 
of miracles were attributed to him, and although he was not exactly 
deified, the position assigned to him is that of the principal mediator 
between God and man. The apotheosis of human beings is, more- 
over, an idea foreign to the Semitic mind , and it was the Persians 
who first elevated r Ali and the imams (literally reciters of prayers) 
who succeeded him to the rank of supernatural beings. 

The Koran itself was early believed to be of entirely super- 


natural origin. The name signifies 'rehearsal', or 'reading', and 
the book is divided into parts called Surehs. The first revelation 
vouchsafed to the Prophet took place in the 'blessed night' in the 
year 609. With many interruptions, the 'sending down' of the 
Koran extended over twenty-three years , until the whole book, 
which had already existed on 'well-preserved tables' in heaven, 
was in the prophet's possession. During the time of the 'Abbaside 
khalifs it wasamatteTofthe keenest controversy whether the Koran 
was created or uncreated. (The Oriental Christians have likewise 
always manifested a great taste for subtle dogmatic questions, such 
as the Procession of the Holy Ghost.) The earlier, or Meccan Surehs, 
which on account of their brevity are placed at the end of the book, 
are characterised by great freshness and vigour of style. They are in 
rhyme, but only partially poetic in form. In the longer Surehs of a 
later period the style is more studied and the narrative often 
tedious. The Koran is nevertheless regarded as the greatest master- 
piece of Arabic literature. The prayers of the Muslims consist almost 
exclusively of passages from this work, although they are entirely 
ignorant of its real meaning. Even by the early commentators 
much of the Koran was imperfectly understood, for Mohammed, 
although extremely proud of his 'Arabic Book' , was very partial 
to the use of all kinds of foreign words. The translation of the 
Koran being prohibited, Persian, Turkish, and Indian children learn 
it entirely by rote. 

The Koran has been translated into English, French, German, Italian, 
and Latin. The best English translations are those of Sale (1734; with 
a 'preliminary discourse' and copious notes ; published in a cheap form 
by Messrs Warne & Co., London) and Rodwell (London, 1861). 

(3). Future State and Predestination. The doctrine of the 
resurrection has been grossly corrupted by the Koran and by sub- 
sequent tradition ; but its main features have doubtless been bor- 
rowed from the Christians, as has also the appearance of Antichrist, 
and the part to be played by Christ at the Last Day. On that day 
Christ will establish El-Islam as the religion of the world. With 
him will re-appear El-Mahdi, the twelfth Imam (p. 153), and the 
beast of the earth (p. 142), while the peoples of Gog and Magog 
will burst the barrier beyond which they were banished by Alexander 
the Great (p. 144). The end of all things will be ushered in by the 
trumpet-blasts of the angel Asrafil ; the first of these blasts will kill 
every living being ; a second will awaken the dead. Then follows 
the Judgment ; the righteous cross to Paradise by a bridge of a 
hair's breadth, while the wicked fall from the bridge into the abyss 
of hell. Some Muslims believe in a kind of limbo, like that of the 
Hebrews and Greeks, while others maintain that the souls of the 
dead proceed directly to the gates of Paradise. At the Judgment 
every man is judged according to the books of the recording angels 
(p. 142). The good have the book placed in their right hands, 
but it is placed in the left hands of the wicked, bound behind 

Baedekek's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. |0 


their backs. The scales in which good and evil deeds are weighed 
play an important part in deciding the soul's fate, a detail which 
gave rise to the subsequent doctrine of the efficacy of works. This 
doctrine is carried so far that works of supererogation are believed 
to be placed to the credit of the believer. The demons and animals, 
too, must be judged. Hell, as well as heaven, has different regions ; 
and El-Islam also assumes the existence of a purgatory, from which 
release is possible. Paradise is depicted by Mohammed, in con- 
sonance with his thoroughly sensual character, as a place of entirely 
material delights. 

The course of all events , including the salvation or perdition 
of every individual, is, according to the strict interpretation of the 
Koran , absolutely predestined ; although several later sects have 
endeavoured to modify this terrible doctrine. It is these views, 
however, which give rise to the pride of the Muslims. By virtue of 
-their faith they regard themselves as certainly elect, and as a rule 
they make no attempt to convert others , as they have no power to 
alter the irrevocable decrees of God. 

In the second place the Koran is considered to contain, not only a 
standard of ethics, but also the foundation of a complete code of law. 

The Morality of El-Islam was specially adapted by its founder 
to the character of the Arabs. Of duties to one's neighbour, charity 
is the most highly praised, and instances of its practice are not 
unfrequent. Hospitality is much practised by the Beduins, and by 
the peasantry also in those districts which are not overrun with 
travellers. Frugality is another virtue of the Arabs, though too apt 
with them to degenerate into avarice and cupidity. The law of debtor 
and creditor is lenient. Lending money at interest is forbidden by 
the Koran, but is nevertheless largely practised, the lowest rate 
in Syria being 12 per cent. The prohibition against eating unclean 
animals, such as swine, is older than El-Islam, and, like the pro- 
hibition of intoxicating drinks, is based on sanitary considerations. 
Wine, however, and even brandy, are largely consumed by the upper 
classes, especially among the Turks. 

Although Polygamy is sanctioned, every Muslim being permit- 
ted to have four wives at a time, yet among the bulk of the popu- 
lation moTiogamy is far more frequent, owing to the difficulty of 
providing for several wives and families at once. The wives, more- 
over, are very apt to quarrel , to the utter destruction of domestic 
peace, unless the husband can afford to assign them separate houses. 
Few men remain unmarried. The treatment of women as mere chat- 
tels, which is of very remote Oriental origin, constitutes the greatest 
defect of the system of El-Islam, although the position of the female 
sex among the Oriental Christians and Jews is little better than 
among the Muslims. It is probably owing to this low estimate of 


women that the Muslims generally dislike to see them praying or 
occupying themselves with religion. The practice of wearing veils 
is not confined to the Muslim women, hut is universal in the East. 
An Oriental lady would, indeed, regard it as an affront to be per- 
mitted to mingle in society with the same freedom as European 
ladies. Even in the Christian churches, the place for women is 
often separated from the men's seats by a railing. The peasant and 
Beduin women , on the other hand, are often seen unveiled. The 
ease with which El-Islam permits divorce is due to Mohammed's per- 
sonal proclivities. A single word from the husband suffices to banish 
the wife from his house , but she retains the marriage-portion 
which she has received from her husband. The children are brought 
up in great subjection to their parents, often showing more fear than 
love for them. 

The repetition of Prayers five times daily forms one of the 
chief occupations of faithful Muslims. The hours of prayer (adanj 
are proclaimed by the mueddins (or muezzins) from the minarets of 
the mosques : (1) Maghrib, a little after sunset ; (2) 'Ashd, night- 
fall, about 1 '/ 2 tour after sunset ; (3) Subh, daybreak ; (4) Duhr, 
midday; (5) 'Asr, afternoon, about l'/o hour before sunset. These 
periods of prayer also serve to mark the divisions of the day. The 
day is also divided into two periods of 12 hours each, beginning 
from sunset, so that where clocks and watches are used they require 
to be set daily. Most people however content themselves with the 
sonorous call of the mueddin : Allahu akbar (three times) ; ashhadu 
an Id ildha ill' Allah ; ashhadu anna Muhammeda rrasulu'lldh 
(twice) ; heyya 'ala-ssaldh (twice) ; heyya 'ala'l-faldh (twice), 
Alldhu akbar (twice), Id ildha iWalldh; i. e. 'Allah is great; I 
testify that there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the pro- 
phet of Allah ; come to prayer ; come to worship ; Allah is great ; 
there is no God but Allah'. This call to prayer sometimes also 
reverberates thrillingly through the stillness of night, to incite 
to devotion the faithful who are still awake. — The duty of 
washing before prayer is a sanitaTy institution, and tanks are pro- 
vided for the purpose in the court of every mosque. In the desert, 
where water is scarce and precious, the faithful are permitted to 
use sand for this religious ablution. 

The person praying must remove his shoes or sandals and turn 
his face towards Mecca, as the Jews and some of the Christian sects 
turn towards Jerusalem or towards the East. The worshipper begins 
by putting his hands to the lobes of his ears, and then holds them 
a little below his girdle; and he intersperses his recitations from 
the Koran with certain prostrations performed in a given order. On 
Fridays the midday recital of prayer takes place three quarters of an 
hour earlier than usual, and is followed by a sermon, preached from 
the Mambar (p. 184) by a respectable, but unlearned layman, 
whose audience sits on the ground in rows before him. Friday is not, 




however, regarded as a day of rest, business being transacted as on 
other days. It has, however, of late become customary to close the 
courts of justice in imitation of the Christian practice of keeping 

The Muslims frequently recite as a prayer the first Sureh of the 
Koran, one of the shortest, which is used as we employ the Lord's 
prayer. It is called el-fatha ('the commencing'), and is to the follow- 
ing effect : — 'In the name of God, the merciful and gracious. Praise 
be to God, the Lord of creatures , the merciful and gracious , the 
Prince of the day of judgment; we serve Thee, and we pray to 

Thee for help ; lead us in the right way of those to whom thou hast 
shown mercy, upon whom no wrath resteth, and who go not 
astray. Amen'. 

Another important duty of the believer is to observe the Fast 
of the month Ramadan. From daybreak to sunset throughout the 
month eating and drinking are absolutely prohibited, and the devout 
even scrupulously avoid swallowing their saliva. The fast is for the 
most part rigorously observed, but prolonged repasts during the night 
afford some compensation. Many shops and offices are entirely closed 
during this month. As the Arabic year is lunar, and therefore eleven 
days shorter than ours , the fast of Ramadan runs through all the 
seasons in the course of thirty-three years, and its observance is most 
severely felt in summer, when much suffering is caused by thirst. 

The Pilgrimage to Mecca t, which every Muslim is bound to 

f The conduct of the caravan , with the gifts presented to the town 
of Mecca, the escort, and other items, costs the Esrvntian envernment 
13,000 purses (about 6G,300i.) annually. S 


undertake once in his life, is also deserving of mention. Most of 
the pilgrims now perform the greater part of the distance by water. 
On approaching Mecca the pilgrims undress , laying aside even 
their headgear , and put on aprons and a piece of cloth over the 
left shoulder. They then perform the circuit of the Ka'ba , kiss 
the black stone, hear the sermon on Mt. 'Arafat near Mecca, pelt 
Satan with stones in the valley of Mina , and conclude their pil- 
grimage with a great sacrificial feast. On the day when this takes 
place at Mecca, sheep are slaughtered and a festival called the Great 
Beiram (el- id eJ-fee&JrJobserved throughout the whole of the Moham- 
medan countries. (The 'Lesser Beiram', Arab, el-' id es-sughayyir, 
follows Ramadan.) The month of the pilgrimage is called Dhul- 
higgeh(that 'of the pilgrimage'), and forms the close of the Muslim 
year. For an account of the feast in connection with the pilgrim- 
age see p. 236. — In order approximately to convert a year of our 
era into one of the Muslim era, subtract 622, divide the remainder 
by 33, and add the quotient to the dividend. Conversely , a year 
of the Mohammedan era is converted into one of the Christian era 
by dividing it by 33, subtracting the quotient from it, and adding 
622 to the remainder. On 21st October, 1884, began the Muslim 
year 1302. The Gregorian calendar has recently been introduced 
into Egypt, but is used by government in the finance department 

Most of the Arabic Literature is connected with the Koran. 
Commentaries were written at an early period to explain the ob- 
scure passages in it, and there gradually sprang up a series of ex- 
egetical writings dwelling with elaborate minuteness upon every 
possible shade of interpretation. Grammar, too, was at first studied 
solely in connection with the Koran, and a prodigious mass of 
legal literature was founded exclusively upon the sacred volume. 
Of late years, however, some attempts have been made to super- 
sede the ancient law, and to introduce a modern European system. 
The Beduins still have their peculiar customary law. 

With regard to theological, legal, and still more to ritualistic 
questions, El-Islam has not always been free from dissension. There 
are in the first place four Orthodox sects, the Hanefites, the Shafe- 
'ites, the Malekites, and the Hambalites , who are named after their 
respective founders. In addition to these must be mentioned the 
schools of Free Thinkers, who sprang up at an early period, partly 
owing to the influence of Greek philosophy. The orthodox party, 
however, triumphed, not only over these heretics, but also in its 
struggle against the voluptuousness and luxury of the most glorious 
period of the khalifs. 

Ascetism and fanaticism were also largely developed among 
professors of El-Islam, and another phase of religious thought was 
pure Mysticism, which arose chiefly in Persia. The mystics (sufi) in- 
terpret many texts of the Koran allegorically, and their system there- 


fore frequently degenerated into Pantheism. It was by mystics who 
still remained within the pale of El-Islam (such as the famous Ibn 
el-'Arabi, born in 1164) that the Orders of Dervishes were founded. 

Dervishes (darwtsh, plur. darawlsh). The love of mysticism 
which characterises Mohammedans is due partly to the nature of 
El-Islam itself, and partly to external circumstances. That earthly 
life is worthless, that it is a delusion, and at best a period of pro- 
bation, are sentiments of frequent recurrence in the Koran. This 
pessimist view of life has been confirmed by Mohammed's concep- 
tion of the Supreme Being, on whose awe-inspiring attributes he 
has chiefly dwelt, thus filling his adherents with a profound dread 
of their Creator. The result of this doctrine was to induce devout 
persons to retire altogether from the wicked world, the scene of 
vanity and disappointment, and to devote themselves to the prac- 
tice of ascetic exercises, with a view to ensure their happiness in a 
future state. The fundamental aim of this asceticism was to strive 
after a knowledge of God by cultivating a kind of half-conscious and 
ecstatic exaltation of mind. A mystic love of God was deemed the 
great passport which enabled the worshipper to fall into this ecstatic 
trance, and to lose himself so completely in contemplation as to 
destroy his own individuality (fana) and blend it with that of the 
Deity (ittihad). As in Europe the monastic system and the mendi- 
cant orders sprang from the example of penitents and hermits who 
had renounced the world, so in the Mohammedan world asceticism 
was rapidly developed into an organised system of mendicancy, 
although in the Koran Mohammed had expressed his strong disap- 
proval of the Christian monastic system. At an early period many 
noble thinkers (such as the Persians Sa'di and Hafiz) and talented 
poets enrolled themselves in the ranks of the ascetics, but the der- 
vishes who represent the sect at the present day have entirely lost 
the spirit of their prototypes, and have retained nothing but the 
mere physical capacity for throwing themselves into a mechanical 
state of ecstasy and rendering themselves proof against external 

The following are the principal orders of dervishes (tarikat ed-dardwish) 
in Egypt: — 

(1) The Rifd'iyeh (sing, rifd'i), an order founded by Seyyid Ahmed 
Rifa'a el-Kebir, possess a monastery near the mosque of Sultan Hasan 
(see p. 260), and are recognisable by their black flags and black or' dark 
blue turbans. The best-known sects of this order are the Auldd 'Ilwdn, 
or ' Ilwdniyeh Dervishes, and the Sa'diyeh Dervishes. The former are 
noted for their extraordinary performances at festivals, such as thrusting 
iron nails into their eyes and arms, breaking large stones against their 
chests, as they lie on their backs on the ground, and swallowing burning 
charcoal and fragments of glass. The Sa'diyeh, who usually carry 
green flags, are snake-charmers (p. 21) , and on the Friday on which the 
birthday of the prophet is celebrated used to allow their shekh to ride 
over them on horseback (the dSseh; p. 237). 

(2) The Kddiriyeh (sing. ^kddiri), an order founded by the celebrated 
Seyyid 'Abd el-Kadir el-Gilani, have white banners and white turbans. 
Most of them spend their time in fishing, and in their processions they 



carry nets of different colours, fishing-rods, and other insignia of their 
chief pursuit. 

(3) The Alymediyeh (sing, ahmedi), the order of Seyyid Ahmed el- 
Bedawi, are recognised by their red banners and red turbans. This order 
is very numerous and is much respected. It is divided into many sects, 
but of these the two most important only need be mentioned. One of these 
is the SMnndwiyeh, who play an important part in the ceremonies at the 
tomb of Seyyid Ahmed at Tanta (p. 225). The other sect is that of the 
Auldd JfHh, who are generally young men, wearing high pointed caps with 
a plume of strips of coloured cloth , and a number of small balls strung 
across their breasts , and carrying wooden swords and a kind of whip 
made of a thick plait of rope. 

There are also many other orders which it is unnecessary to enumerate. 
The ceremony of the admission of members to all these orders is a very 
simple matter. The candidate (el-murid) performs the customary ablution, 
sits down on the ground beside the superior (el-murshid , or spiritual 
leader), gives him his hand , and repeats after him a set form of words, 
in which he expresses penitence for his sins and his determination to 
reform, and calls Allah to witness that he will never quit the order. The 
ceremony terminates with three recitals of the confession of faith by the 
murid, the joint repetition of the fatha (p. 148), and a kissing of hands. 

The religious exercises of all the dervishes consist chieQy in the 
performance of Zikrs (i. e. pious devotions , or invocations of Allah ; see 
below, and p. 239). Almost all the dervishes in Egypt are small trades- 
men, artizans, or peasants. Most of them are married men, and they take 
part in the ceremonies peculiar to their order at stated seasons only. 

Dancing Dervishes. 

Some of them, however, make it their business to attend festivals and 
funerals for the purpose of exhibiting their zikrs. These last are called 
fukara (sing, fakir), i. e. 'poor men'. Others again support themselves by 
drawing water (hemali; see p. 248). Those who lead a vagrant life and 
subsist on alms are comparatively few in number. The dervishes of this 
class usually wear a kind of gown (dilk) composed of shreds of rags of 
various colours sewn together, or a shaggy coat of skins, and carry a 
stick with strips of cloth of various colours attached to the upper end. 
A considerable number of them are insane, in which case they are highly 
revered by the people, and are regarded as specially favoured by God, 


who has taken their spirits to heaven , while he has left their earthly 
tabernacle behind. 

The Zikrs (see p. 239) to which the traveller will most conveniently 
obtain access are those of the Dancing and the Howling Dervishes. The 
dancing dervishes are called Mevlewis after the founder of their order, the 
M6la Jelal ed-din er-RAmi of Balkh in Persia (who flourished about A.D. 
1208), mevlewi being the Turkish form for molawi, or adherent of the Mola 
or learned master. They perform their zikr within a circular space about 
20 ft. in diameter and enclosed by a railing. With slow, measured tread the 
shekh comes forward, followed by a dervish, and takes his seat on a carpet 
opposite the entrance. The other dervishes next enter the circle one after 
another, in the order of their ages, wearing long gowns and conical hats. 
They walk solemnly up to their superior, make him a profound obeisance, 
kiss the hem of his robe , and take up their position to his left. From 
the galleries is presently heard a rude and weird kind of music, consist- 
ing of a single prolonged tone of a stringed instrument accompanied by 
a flute and a human voice rising and falling in cadences. Time is beaten 
by a tambourine, with varying rapidity and vigour. The singer recites 
a hymn expressing the most ardent love of God. As soon as the singing 
ceases, the dervishes rise, and walk in procession three times round the 
circle, headed by the shekh. Each of them, including the shekh himself, 
makes a low bow in passing the spot from which the shekh has just risen. 
They then resume their seats, and the shekh , with closed eyes, and in a 
deep, sepulchral voice, begins to murmur a prayer, in which the word 
Allah alone is audible. When the prayer is over the dervishes divest 
themselves of their gowns, under which they wear a long, loose, light- 
coloured skirt or kilt, reaching down to their ankles, and a more closely 
fitting vest. They then present themselves before the shekh, each in his 
turn, make him a profound obeisance, and begin to move slowly round 
in a circle. They turn on the left foot, propelling themselves by touching 
the waxed floor from time to time with the right. Most of them make about 
forty gyrations per minute, but some of them accomplish sixty and even 
more. The whole of the zikr is performed by the dervishes noiselessly, 
with closed eyes , and outstretched arms , the palm of one hand being 
turned upwards and the other downwards, and their heads either thrown 
back or leaning on one side. During the dance soft strains of music are 
heard, while the beat of the tambourine gradually accelerates, and the 
skirts of the performers fly out in a wide circle. The tones of the flute 
become shriller and shriller, until on a signal given by the shekh the 
music ceases, the dancers stop , cross their arms over their chests, and 
resume their seats. The dance is performed three times by all except 
the superior. The latter, however, walks several times noiselessly through 
the midst of the dancers, who, although their eyes are closed, touch neither 
him nor one another. The whole zikr occupies about an hour. 

The howling or shouting dervishes perform their zikr in a kneeling 
or crouching posture, with their heads and chests bent downwards. In 
this attitude they sometimes remain for hours , incessantly shouting the 
Muslim confession of faith — 'la ilaha', etc., until they at length attain 
the ecstatic condition, and finish by repeating the word M, i. e. 'he' 
(God) alone. On the occasion of great festivals some of them fall into 
a kind of epileptic convulsion, and foam at the mouth ; but no notice is 
taken of them, and they are left to recover without assistance. It need 
hardly be added that the European traveller will find these performances 
unpleasing and painful. 

The Worship op Saints and Martyrs was inculcated in con- 
nection with El-Islam at an early period. The faithful undertook 
pilgrimages to the graves of the departed in the belief that death 
did not interrupt the possibility of communication with them. 
Thus the tomb of Mohammed at Medina, and that of his grandson 
Husen at Kerbela, became particularly famous, and every little 
town soon boasted, of the tomb of its particular saint. In many 


of the villages of Syria the traveller will observe small dome- 
covered buildings , with grated windows , and surmounted by the 
crescent. These are the so-called Weli's , mausolea of saints, or 
tombs of shekhs. In the interior there is usually a block of stone, 
hewn in the shape of a sarcophagus and covered with a green or 
red cloth, on which texts from the Koran are embroidered in gold 
or silver. The walls are generally embellished with paintings 
representing the sacred cities of El-Islam, and executed in an 
amusingly primitive style. Suspended from the ceiling by cords 
and threads are little boats, ostrich eggs , and numerous paper 
bags filled with sacred earth from Mecca. In one corner are 
a thick wax candle and a heap of bones of all kinds. The tomb is 
usually surrounded by a burial-ground, where certain persons have 
the privilege of being interred. Schools are also frequently connect- 
ed with these weli's. Shreds of cloth are often seen suspended from 
the railings of these tombs , or on certain trees which are consi- 
dered sacred, having been placed there by devout persons. This 
curious custom is of ancient origin. 

About the end of the 18th century a reaction against the abuses 
of El-Islam sprang up in Central Arabia. The Wahhabites, or 
Wahhabees , named after their founder 'Abd el-Wahhab, endeav- 
oured to restore the religion to its original purity ; they destroyed 
all tombs of saints, including even those of Mohammed and Husen, 
as objects of superstitious reverence, and sought to restore the 
primitive simplicity of the prophet's code of morals ; and they even 
forbade the smoking of tobacco as being intoxicating. They soon 
became a great political power, and had not Mohammed f Ali deemed 
it his interest to suppress them , their influence would have been 
far more widely extended than it now is. — As to the Senusi 
order, see p. 67. 

We have hitherto spoken of the doctrines of the Sunnites (from 
surma, 'tradition'), who form one great sect of El-Islam. At an early 
period the Shi'ites (from shfa , 'sect') seceded from the Sunnites. 
They assigned to 'Ali, the son-in-law of Mohammed, a rank equal 
or even superior to that of the prophet himself; they regarded him 
as an incarnation of the Deity, and believed in the divine mission 
of the imams descended from him. El-Mahdi, the last of these, 
is believed by them not to have died, but to be awaiting in 
concealment the coming of the last day. The Persians are all 
Shiites. Towards the West also Shi'itism was widely disseminated 
at an early period, particularly in Egypt under the regime of the 
Fatimite sovereigns. The Shi'ites are extremely fanatical, refus- 
ing even to eat in the society of persons of a different creed. 
The other sects, which are chiefly confined to Syria (the Metdwileh, 
the Isma'Uiyeh , the Nosairiyeh, the Druses, etc.), are noticed in 
Baedeker's Syria and Palestine. 


Remarks on Mohammedan Customs. 

The birth of a child is celebrated on the seventh day of its life 
by a domestic festival, attended by the kadi or some learned theo- 
logian, who dissolves in his mouth a piece of sugar-candy presented 
to him by the host and drops a little of his sweetened saliva into 
the infant's mouth, as if to give it a sweet foretaste of the world's 
gifts, and also for the purpose of 'giving it a name out of his mouth'. 
Muslims, it is well known, are usually named by their pronomens 
only. If a more precise designation is desired, the name of the 
father is placed after the pronomen , with or without the word ibn 
('son of) placed between the names. Nicknames, such as 'the one- 
eyed', etc., are also not uncommon. 

When the child is forty days old the mother takes it to the bath, 
and causes forty bowls of water (thirty-nine in the case of a girl) 
to be poured over its head. This bath forms the purification of both 
mother and child. 

The rite of circumcision is performed on boys up to the age of 
six or seven, or even later, the ceremony being attended with great 
pomp. The child is previously conducted through the streets in holiday 
attire, the procession being frequently united with some bridal party, 
in order to diminish the expense of the proceedings. The boy gener- 
ally wears a turban of red cashmere, girls' clothes of the richest 
possible description, and conspicuous female ornaments, which are 
designed to attract attention, and thus avert the evil eye from his 
person. A handsomely caparisoned horse is borrowed to carry him ; 
he half covers his face with an embroidered handkerchief ; and the 
barber who performs the operation and a noisy troop of musicians 
head the procession. The first personage in the procession is usually 
the barbers boy, carrying the L heml\ or barber's sign, a kind of 
cupboard made of wood, in the form of a half-cylinder, with four 
short legs. The flat front of the heml is adorned with pieces of 
looking-glass and embossed brass, while the back is covered with 
a curtain. Two or more boys are often thus paraded together, being 
usually driven in a carriage and attended by music. 

Girls are generally married in their 12th or 13th, and some- 
times as early as their 10th year. A man in search of a bride 
employs the services of a relative, or of a professional female 
match-maker, and he never has an opportunity of seeing his bride 
until the wedding-day, except when the parties belong to the 
lowest classes. When everything is arranged, the affianced bride- 
groom has to pay a bridal-portion (mahr) amounting to about lb I., 
more being paid when the bride is a spinster than if she is a widow. 
Generally speaking, about two-thirds of the sum, the amount 
of which always forms a subject of lively discussion, is paid 
down, while one-third is settled upon the wife, being payable on 
the death of the husband, or on his divorcing her against her will. 


The marriage-contract is now complete. Before the wedding the 
bride is conducted in gala attire and with great ceremony to the 
bath. This procession is called l Zeffet et Hammdm'. It is headed 
by several musicians with hautbois and drums ; these are followed 
by several married friends and relations of the bride in pairs, and 
after these come a number of young girls. The bride is entirely con- 
cealed by the clothing she wears, being usually enveloped from head 
to foot in a cashmere shawl, and wearing on her head a small cap, or 
crown, of pasteboard. The procession moves veiy slowly, and another 
body of musicians brings up the rear. The hideous shrieks of joy 
which women of the lower classes utter on the occurrence of any sen- 
sational event are called zaghdrU. The bride is afterwards conducted 
with the same formalities to the house of her husband. 

The ceremonies observed at funerals are not less remarkable 
than those which attend weddings. If the death occurs in the morn- 
ing, the funeral takes place the same day ; but if in the evening, 
it is postponed till next day. The body is washed and mourned 
over by the family and the professional mourning women (neddd- 
behs ; a custom prohibited by Mohammed, but one dating from the 
remotest antiquity) ; the filuh, or schoolmaster, reads several Surehs 
of the Koran by its side •, after this , it is wrapped in its winding 
sheet, placed on the bier, covered with a red or green cloth, a7id 
then carried forth in solemn procession. The foremost persons in 
the cortege are usually six or more poor, and generally blind, men, 
who walk in twos or threes at a slow pace, chanting the creed — 
'There is no God but God; Mohammed is the ambassador of God; 
God be gracious to him and preserve him !' These are followed by 
several male relatives of the deceased, and sometimes by a number 
of dervishes with the flags of their order, and then by three or more 
schoolboys, one of whom carries a copy of the Koran, or of parts of 
it, on a stand made of palm-branches, covered with a cloth. The 
boys usually chant in a loud and shrill voice several passages from 
the i Hashr'iyeh\ a poem describing the last judgment. The bierj 
with the head of the deceased foremost, comes next, being borne 
by three or four of his friends, who are relieved from time to time 
by others. After the bier come the relations and friends in their 
everyday attire, and the female relatives, with dishevelled hair, 
sobbing aloud, and frequently accompanied by professional mourn- 
ing women, whose business it is to extol the merits of the deceased. 
If the deceased was the husband or father of the family, one of the 
cries is • — '0 thou camel of my house', the camel being the emblem 
of the bread-winner of the household. 

The body is first carried into that mosque for whose patron 
saints the relatives entertain the greatest veneration, and prayers 
are there offered on its behalf. After the bier has been placed in 
front of the tomb of the saint, and prayers and chants have again 
been recited, the procession is formed anew and moves towards the 


cemetery, where the body is let down a perpendicular shaft to a 
spacious vault excavated on one side of it , and theie placed in 
such a position that its face is turned towards Mecca. The entrance 
to the lateral vault is then walled up, and during this long process 
the mourners recite the words : — l AUdhu muyhfir el-muslimin 
wal-muslimat, tl-mumiriXnwdl-muminaii! (God pardons the Muslim 
men and the Muslim women, the faithful men and the faithful 
women). A Khatib, Imam, or other person then addresses a few 
stereotyped words to the deceased, informing him how he is to 
answer the two examining angels who are to question him during 
the ensuing night (p. 145). A fatha having again been whispered, 
and the perpendicular shaft filled up, while the mourners incessantly 
repeat the words — i Msmillah er-rahimir rahmant (in the name 
of God, the merciful), the bystanders shake hands, and the male 
mourners disperse. The women, however, who have stood a little 
on one side during the ceremony, now come forward and inspect 
the tomb. 

Another custom peculiar to the Muslims is that the separation 
of the sexes is as strict after death as during life. In family vaults 
one side is set apart for the men, the other for the women exclu- 
sively. Between these vaults is the entrance to the tomb, which is 
usually covered with a single large slab. The vaults are high enough 
to admit of the deceased sitting upright in them when he is being 
examined by the angels Munkar and Nekir on the first night after 
his interment (see p. 155) ; for, according to the belief of the Mo- 
hammedans, the soul of the departed remains with his body for 
a night after his burial. For particulars regarding the tombs, see 
p. 185. 

The Religious and Popular Festivals of the Egyptians may 
all be seen to the best advantage at Cairo. For farther particulars, 
see p. 236. Fair at Tanta, see p. 226. 


VIII. Historical Notice of Egyptian Art. 

In the ancient Egyptian poem which extols the achievements of 
Ramses the temples in the valley of the Nile are called 'everlasting 
stones'; and the works of Egyptian art do indeed seem to lay claim 
to perpetuity. Some of the monuments have existed for forty or 
even fifty centuries, so that, compared with them, the works of all 
other nations appear recent and modern ; and a still greater marvel 
is that the skill displayed in the execution of these monuments 
must have been the growth of many antecedent ages, all memorials 
of which are now buried in the obscurity of the remotest antiquity. 

The Egyptian people belonged to the so-called Chamite race, 
and, like the Semites and, the Indo-Germanians, had their original 
home in Asia (comp. pp. 37, 38). Whether they brought any 
of their arts to the Valley of the Nile , or whether their taste for 
art and their imagination were awakened for the first time by the 
Father of Rivers, must of course remain for ever unknown. Some 
of the very earliest of the products of Egyptian art are indeed 
more akin, to those of Asia than the later, but Egyptian art as a 
whole presents so peculiar and unique a character that its origin was 
most probably local. The question might indeed be settled if we 
were in a position to compare early Egyptian art with that of the 
Oriental nations of the same period ; but of the latter we can now 
find no trace. The only sources from which we can form any 
opinion regarding the original condition and the earliest develop- 
ment of Egyptian art are the technical execution of the oldest 
known monuments and the forms and style of decoration employed 
in them. Thus the ceiling-painting in the pyramidal tombs reveals 
its indebtedness to the textile handicraft ; for it is in the art of 
weaving alone that the margins and seams there represented have 
any use or significance. Again, the wallsofthe most ancienttomb- 
chambers contain horizontal and vertical bands and convex mould- 
ings, the design of which has obviously been borrowed from a system 
of building in wood. The sloping ridges of the pyramids point to an 
original style of building with crude brick, as walls of that material 
required to be tapering in form to ensure their durability. We 
thus gather that the Egyptians of a very remote period were weavers 
and potters, familiar with the arts of building in wood and in brick. 
If we go a little farther, and venture to draw inferences from the 
subjects and forms of their earliest works of art, we find that the 
Egyptians of the remotest traceable period must have been a cheerful 
and contented people, free from that taste for the mystic and the 
symbolical which afterwards characterised all their exertions in 
the sphere of art , and endowed with a love of life and nature 
which they zealously manifested in the earliest products of their 

An attempt to gather a history of Egyptian art from the in- 



formation we possess regarding the various dynasties of the Egyptian 
monarchs has led to the following results, which, however, may be 
much simplified or modified by future discoveries. The first period 
of the steady development of Egyptian art closes with the sixth 
dynasty, and the monuments of Memphis are the most important, 
though not the only structures of the early dynasties. Some of these 
(such as the pyramid of Cochome. p. 382) are supposed to date as 
far back as the time of the fourth king ; and there is reason to believe 
that they were originally built of sun-dried i bricks encrusted with 
stone, instead of, as subsequently, in solid stone. This would also 
account for the mode of construction observed in the stone pyramids, 
which consist of repeated incrustations of tapering courses of ma- 

'•• X 



, _^.^_ 

ill 1 








a. Pyramid of Cheops (usual form of pyramids), b. Pyramid of Dahshur, 
with bent sides, c. Step-pyramid of Sakkara. 

sonry. According to the well-known hypothesis of Dr. Lepsius, the 
famous German Egyptologist, these different layers or crusts, like the 
concentric rings in the trunk of a tree, perhaps corresponded to the 
number of years during which the deceased monarch reigned. Besides 
the pyramids of the usual regular form (Fig. I. a), there are others 
with sides forming an obtuse angle, and others again with sides in 
steps. Of the pyramid with bent sides there is an example at Dahshur 
(Fig. I. 6), and of the' pyramid in steps one at Sakkara (Fig. I. c). 
The terrace, or step, form seems, however, to have been uniformly 
used in all the pyramids up to the apex (which was probably tapered), 
and in most of them the angles formed by the steps were afterwards 
filled up with stone. There can now be no reasonable doubt that 
the pyramids were intended to form the inaccessible tombs of great 
monarchs, near which their courtiers and magnates erected mortuary 


chapels for themselves (Mastaba) in the form of blunted pyramids, 
in order, as it were, to pay homage to the memory of their illustrious 
masters. The pictorial decorations of these temples, as well as the 
plastic works of the same period, serve most impressively to com- 
plete the artistic effect of the pyramids. While their marvellously 
perfect execution alone indicates ahighstateof artistic development, 
our admiration is specially aroused by the striking fidelity to nature 
and expressiveness of the sculptures. The unfavourable criticisms 
on Egyptian sculpture formerly current may indeed now be regarded 
as entirely refuted. Even in European museums an opportunity is 
afforded to the traveller of becoming acquainted with the noble style 
by which the early Egyptian art alone is characterised. What visitor 
to the Louvre, for example, can fail to remember the striking 
impression produced by the statue of the 'Writer?' The expressive 
eyes are formed of dark quartz containing 9 transparent pupil of 
rock crystal fixed with a small knob of metal, while the attitude is re- 
markable forits lifelike fidelity and strong individuality. This statue 
dates from the fifth or sixth dynasty, and the museum atBulak con- 
tains other plastic works of the same period in which an almost over- 
drawn realism is still more apparent. The limestone statue of Ra- 
Nefer, a priest of Ptah-Sokar at Memphis, and the wooden figure of 
the 'village shekh'(p. 305), which the Paris Exhibition of 1867 has 
brought into so favourable notice, are the best-known specimens of 
a style of art of which the very existence was unsuspected a few de- 
cades ago, and the discovery of which has tended greatly to modify 
the old supposition that the Egyptian sculptors executed their works 
in mere mechanical accordance with a prescribed canon. The chief 
merit of the earliest Egyptian sculpture is the faithfulness of the 
portraiture, which is such that the identity of the person represented 
by two different statues may often be determined by the similarity 
of the features,' even when executed at different periods of the per- 
son's life. In this way have been identified eight statues of Khafra, 
the third king of the fourth dynasty, although all differing in meas- 
urement, material, and the age represented (comp. pp. 305, 307). 
Observation of nature in the case of these earliest works has evi- 
dently been carried into the minutest details. The race of men re- 
presented is uniformly of the same character, somewhat resembling 
that of the modern fellahin ; the figures are of a powerful, thickset 
type, and their muscles are faithfully represented, occasionally to 
exaggeration. These early sculptors, however, were incapable of 
producing works of a more complex character, where excellence 
of general effect required to be superadded to accuracy of detail, and 
in this respect they were far surpassed by their successors. Even 
the reliefs in the tomb-chambers of Memphis are executed in a 
singularly fresh and unsophisticated style, and the spectator will 
hardly regret the absence of the mystic symbolism of the later period. 
After the sixth dynasty there occurs a sudden falling away from 


this vigorous style of art, occasioned perhaps by political dissensions, 
by internal wars, and possibly by a change of religious convictions. 
It was not until the rise of the Eleventh Dynasty that the state of 
the country became more settled, and that art began to revive. The 
new style, however, differed materially from the old. As the ancient 
capitals of Memphis and This now began to yield precedence to 
Thebes, the new centre of the kingdom, and as the system of writing, 
the laws, and the constitution, had all undergone material alteration, 
so, too, it may rather be said that the cultivation of art began anew 
than that the style then practised was a development of that of the 
fourth and sixth dynasties. Of this second efflorescence of art no 
great monuments have been handed down to us, the most important 
works being the obelisks of Heliopolis and the Fayfim and several 
colossi dug up at Tanis and Abydus. The rock tombs of Beni Hasan 
are also interesting felics of the period of the Twelfth Dynasty. 
In these we find a reversion to the rock-building style, which, ac- 
cording to Lepsius, is nearly identical with that of the grotto 
architecture, and owed its origin to the prevalence of ancestor- 
worship, and to the popular desire, arising from the Egyptian doctrine 
of immortality, for the preservation of the bodies of the dead. The 
rock-tomb was safe from the overflow of the Nile, while its equable 
temperature arrested the decay of the corpse , and a chapel con- 
nected with it afforded the relations an opportunity of paying 
homage and presenting offerings to the deceased. The division 
of the tomb into a series of chambers, leading at length to the 
actual sepulchre , soon led to their being architecturally decor- 
ated. Where there were several chambers, one behind the other, it 
was natural that openings should be made in the walls for the sake 
of admitting light. The next step was to convert the remaining 
portions of wall into pillars for the support of the roof, and to plane 
off their corners, part of the pillar being, however, left square at the 
top so as to blend the octagonal column with the Toof. In the 
next place the octagonal pillar was sometimes converted into one 
of sixteen sides , so as to resemble a column , and in some cases 
the flat surfaces were grooved or fluted, a sharp angle being thus 
formed between each of them. Polygonal columns of this character, 
which occur in the first tomb of Beni Hasan, have been called 
Proto-Doric or Egypto-Doric by Champollion and Falkener, from 
their resemblance to the Doric columns of the Greeks (Fig. II). The 
points of resemblance are the marked fluting, the tapering, and the 
absence of bases ; but the Proto-Doric differs from the Greek Doric 
in being destitute of the 'echinus', a member resembling an over- 
hanging wreath of leaves, and forming the capital of the Doric column. 
In some cases there is the still greater difference that the Proto- 
Doric columns are unfluted, the surfaces being left smooth for the 
reception of coloured inscriptions. In such cases the column loses 
its structural significance, being degraded to a mere surface for 



inscriptions, and presents a marked contrast to the Doric, where each 
member and each line fulfils a definite requirement of the building. 
The architects of the tombs of Beni Hasan, however, were not 
unacquainted with a light and elegant mode of building above 
ground, which cannot have originated in the grotto architecture 

II. Section of the N. Tomb and Columns of Beni Hasan. 

This is proved by their use of the lotus-column (Fig. Ill), the 
prototype of which is a group of four lotus-stalks bound together 
and secured at the top by rings or ligatures, the capital being formed 
by the blossoms. These columns, which contrast strongly with the 
massive Proto-Doric , suggest a light style of garden architecture 
in wood. 

While the architecture of the eleventh and twelfth dynasties 
bears some slight resemblance to the earlier style, the sculpture of 
the same period presents an almost total deviation from the ancient 
traditions. The' primitive, lifelike realism to which we have al- 
ready alluded is displaced by the rigorous sway of the Canon, by 
which all proportions are determined by fixed rules, and all forms 

Baedekek's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. J J 



are necessarily stereotyped. There seems, however, to have been no 
retrogression in point of technical skill ; for, as in the time of 
Khafra, the hardest materials still became compliant, and the dif- 
ficulties of the minutest detail were still successfully overcome by 
the sculptors of the Pharaohs. 

Another considerable break now took place in the progress of 
Egyptian art. This dreary interval began with the invasion of 
the Hyksos or Shepherds , and lasted throughout 
the whole of their domination. To them is at- 
tributed the destruction of the older monuments, 
and they themselves have left no architectural re- 
mains behind them. They were not, however, 
entirely insensible to the charms of art, and after 
the first terrors of the invasion were over , they 
did not prevent the Egyptian artists from prose- 
cuting their calling. As the Normans in Sicily 
adopted the culture of the conquered Arabs , so 
the Hyksos turned to account the knowledge of 
art and the technical skill possessed by the Egyp- 
tians. The sculptures excavated at Tanis, the cap- 
ital of the Hyksos (four sphinxes and particu- 
larly a group of river-gods in granite), are of 
Egyptian workmanship, and there is nothing to 
betray their origin in the Hyksos period except 
the type of the features, the bushy beards, and 
the thick tufts of hair. 

With the expulsion of the Hyksos begins a 
new period, in the history of art as well as in that 
of politics. The warlike and victorious monarchs 
of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties, in 
particular, have perpetuated their memory by 
astonishingly numerous monuments. The compulsory labour of 
captive enemies afforded the architects an opportunity of carrying 
out their most gigantic designs, while the achievements of their 
sovereigns, such as the campaigns of Thothmes, Amenophis , and 
Ramses, supplied the sculptors with an inexhaustible theme for 
the decoration of the facades of their temples. To this period of 
the new empire belong most of the Theban monuments. The taste 
for the great and the colossal, and for symmetry of proportion had 
attained its culminating point, but the stagnation of the lifesprings 
of art , the dependence of the drawing and colouring on formal 
rules, and the over-loading of the ornamentation with symbolical 
signs (such as the Uraus and the Hathor masks) become unpleas- 
ingly apparent. It can hardly, however, be said that the decline 
of Egyptian art had yet begun ; for this period lasted so long as to 
give rise to a general belief that the Egyptians had never possessed 
any other style, and entirely to obliterate the recollection of the 

III. Lotus Column. 


more ancient and materially different period of development. At 
the same time a careful inspection of the monuments of this period 
will convince the observer that no farther development could be ex- 
pected afterwards to take place on the basis of a system so lifeless 
and entirely mechanical. Shortly before the conquest of the country 
by the Persians, however, a slight improvement in artistic taste 
appears to have taken place. While the monuments of the Twenty- 
second and following Dynasties are unattractive , being mere 
reproductions of earlier works, the sculptures of the Twenty-sixth 
Dynasty (such as the alabaster statue of Queen Ameniritis of the 
XXV. Dynasty) exhibit a considerable degree of elegance and 
refinement. But this revival was of brief duration. After the 
establishment of the Ptolemaean dynasty the native art became 
entirely extinct, though for a time a semblance of life was artifici- 
ally maintained. Political interests required the restoration of the 
temples, and numerous artists were employed for the purpose ; the 
traditional style continued to be practised, and every branch of art 
was liberally patronised. The style of this period, however, had 
well-nigh degenerated into mere mannerism, and therefore does 
not possess the historical interest attaching to the earlier stages of 
Egyptian art. 

The art of the Ptolemaean era, moreover, in spite of all its 
richness and apparent vigour, not only shows manifest symptoms 
of decline , but was threatened with the loss of its originality 
and independence owing to foreign influences. As soon as Hellas 
came into contact with Egypt, the innate charms of Hellenic art, 
which even remote India was unable to resist, began to affect the 
hitherto strongly conservative and self-satisfied Egyptians. 

Having thus given a slight chronological outline of the pro- 
gress of Egyptian art, we must now endeavour to supplement it by 
a description of the chief characteristics of each period. Our 
attention will lie chiefly directed to the monuments of the new 
empire, owing to their great number and extent. 

The Column in Egypt, as elsewhere, constitutes the most im- 
portant of all architectural members. Its absence indicates a very 
elementary stage of the art of building, when artistic development 
has yet to begin. The column imparts to the edifice an appearance 
of organic life, it lightens and breaks the outline of its different 
masses, and affords strength and upport. When compared with 
the Greek columnar orders, the Egyptian column is of a very 
imperfect character. Its decoration and its form do not immediate- 
ly and exclusively express its proper office, as is the case with 
the Greek column, and the Doric in particular. Its dependence on 
its natural prototype, the wreath-crowned canopy-support, still 
continues apparent, and its proportions, though not altogether 
independent of rule, still appear too arbitrary. Lastly, the height 
and thickness of the columns do not stand in an appropriate 




ratio to the weight they have to bear. It must, nevertheless, be 
admitted that the eye is delighted with the brilliance of their 
colouring and the perfection of their execution. 

Egypt possesses a considerable number of different orders of 
columns. Some of these occur in the old empire only, while others 
are found for the first time in monuments of the new empire, 
without, however, belonging to a higher grade of art. In the tombs 
of Beni-Hasan (XII. Dynasty) we have become acquainted with the 
polygonal or Proto-Doric column, and also with that with the bud- 
capital. The latter was perhaps suggested by a form of pillar which 
occurs in the tombs of the VI. Dynasty near Antinoe (the modern 
El-Bersheh). The surfaces of the pillars are hollowed out, and in 
the hollows rise lotus stalks, crowned with a bunch of buds or 
closed blossoms (Fig. IV). Akin to the lotus columns of Beni 


V. Papyrus Columns. 

Hasan is an order of column of the new empire, which was 
adorned partly with sculpture and partly with painting, and which 
afterwards gradually adopted the conventional form. This column 
tapers at its base, where it is encircled with a slight wreath of reed 
leaves. It also tapers again upwards, and in some cases presents a 
shaft painted with horizontal bands and hieroglyphics, and in 
others a shaft grooved so as to imitate the stalks of a plant (the 



papyrus) which are bound together at the top with a ligature. The 
capitals, somewhat simple in form, and tapering upwards, are 
sometimes decorated on the lower part with a wreath of upright 
reed leaves, and sometimes, like the shafts, are treated as surfaces 
for painting, in which case their origin in the vegetable kingdom 
is indicated by a few painted buds only (Fig. V. a, 6). 


VI. Calyx Capitals. 

While the columns hitherto described performed the structural 
function in temples and tombs of supporting 
massive stone roofs , the order of columns with 
Calyx Capitals was chiefly used for the decorative 
purpose of enclosing the processional approach 
in the anterior halls of the temples, and was re- 
quired to support but little weight. The shafts 
of these columns rest on round bases resembling 
discs, they taper downwards, and are treated as 
surfaces for painting. The flowers and leaves on 
the capitals sometimes seem to be attached super- 
ficially only (Fig. VI. a), while in other cases 
the leaves appear to form a wreath, growing out 
of a columnar stem , and leaning slightly out- 
wards so as to assume the calyx form. Of this style 
the papyrus (Fig. VI. 6) and the palm (Fig. VI. c) 
formed the natural prototypes , and even at a 
late period several other very pleasing types were 
added. Another kind of column, which seems to 
have been much in vogue during the latest period 
of independent Egyptian art , is of inferior im- 
portance and artistic merit. It has a shaft ter- 
minating at the top in masks attached to four 
sides, usually representing the goddess Hathor 
with the cow's ears, and above these are placed 
miniature temple facades , forming a kind of 
abacus. Both in this case and in that of the Osiris 
pillars (Fig. VII), where the figure of the god, vn. Osiris pillar. 



with the erook in his left hand and the scourge in his right, stands 
quite detached from the pillar, and bears no part of the weight, the 
structural function has been treated as a matter of very subordinate 

Immediately connected with the columns are the beams above 
them. The inner apartments of the temples were ceiled with stone 
beams exclusively, extending from the abacus (or crowning slab) 
of one column to that of another ; and the rectangular spaces thus 
formed were filled with slabs of stone, adorned sometimes with 
astronomical designs. The chief characteristics of the outer parts 
of the beams are, that the architrave rests immediately on the aba- 
cus , and that there is a furrow hollowed out above it, forming 
a deep shadow. The architrave is generally inscribed with hiero- 
glyphics, so that its structural office is rendered less apparent ; but 
the concave moulding above it presents the appearance of a proper 
crowning cornice (Fig. VIII, 6), thus serving to counterbalance the 

VIII«. Entablature from the Tombs of Beni Hasan, 
with hollowed cornice. 

VIII6. Entablature 

effect of the inwardly sloping walls, and giving the building an 
appropriate finish. The hollowed cornice is usually embellished 
with upright leaves or staves; and, when it crowns a portal, a winged 
sun-disc generally hovers over the centre. The architectural idea 
embodied in the entablature of the tombs of Beni Hasan is materi- 
ally different. Above the architrave lies a straight projecting slab, 
which presents the appearance of being borne by a series of beams 
(Fig. VIII, a). The resemblance here to cognate Oriental modes 
of building is very apparent, while the entablature above described 
is peculiar to Egyptian art. The crowning of the walls with the 
concave cornice, and its frame-like embellishment of roll-moulding, 
constitute the chief articulation of the edifice ; but this would have 
afforded insufficient relief had it not been supplemented with 
colouring, whereby the cold surface of the walls was covered with 
a pattern resembling that of a gorgeous carpet. 

In order that the traveller may thoroughly understand and ap- 
preciate Egyptian architecture, he should make himself acquainted, 


not merely with the different modes of building and their details, 
but with the peculiarities of the national religious rites. The costly 
stone edifices of the ancient Egyptians were used exclusively for 
religious purposes. It is an error to suppose that the temples con- 
tained the Toyal residences within their precincts ; the nature of the 
climate alone would have rendered them uninhabitable. The kings' 
palaces, as we learn from the representations of them in tombs, were 
edifices of a very light and airy description, adorned with balconies, 
colonnades , and bowers, and surrounded by gardens and ponds. 
They were built of brick and wood, and, as the sole object of the 
architects was to provide a convenient and pleasant dwelling, they 
were richly decorated with colouring. 

With regard to the architecture of the temples, it is important 
to keep in view the fact, that they were neither destined for the 
reception of a congregation like Christian churches, nor, like the 
Greek temples, erected as mere receptacles for the image of the god. 
The Egyptian worshippers approached the temple precincts in 
solemn procession, and the profane remained outside, while the ini- 
tiated and the ordained penetrated to different parts of the interior 
in accordance with the degree of their knowledge of the divine 
mysteries, the high priest alone being privileged to enter the 
innermost sanctuary. 

The multitude would first arrive in their festively decorated 
boats by the great highway of the Nile, and they would then traverse 
the avenue leading to the temple, which was flanked by sphinxes 
on each side. The sphinxes consist of a lion's body with the 
head of a man (Androsphinx), or that of a ram (Kriosphinx), and 
according to an inscription at Edfu they were intended to sym- 
bolise the conflict of Horus with Typhon-Seth. The sphinx avenue 
led to the precincts of the temple proper, the Temenos of the 
Ureeks, which were completely enclosed by a wall, built of bricks 
of the Nile clay, or, as at Edfu, of solid stone. The sacred lakes, 
generally two in number, and the sacred grove were usually the only 
accessories of the temple which lay without the precincts. At the 
end of the avenue the eye is confronted by two huge towers with the 
entrance between them, called the Pylons, which are in the form of 
truncated pyramids, with walls divided into sections by round 
staves, and affording admirable surfaces for plastic or pictorial de- 
coration. The pylons and the portal between them are both crowned 
with the usual hollowed cornice. Under ordinary circumstances 
these pylons present a very imposing appearance , but their 
grandeur must have been much enhanced when they were festively 
decorated (as in Fig. IX) on solemn occasions, and when gaily hung 
with flags to welcome the arrival of the worshippers. Within the 
pylons, in the larger temples, lay a large open court (Peristyle), 
flanked on two or three sides with colonnades, and beyond it a 
large hall borne by columns ( Hypostyle), of which those in the 



centre, differing in size and form of capital, marked out the route 
to be followed by the procession. In many of the temples a smaller 
columnar hall, and chambers of smaller size and decreasing height, 
all lying in the line of the processional route (and together called 

IX. Decorated Portal and Pylons. 

the Prosecus) separated the hypostyle from the small, dark, and 
secluded sanctuary, called the Adytum or Secus, sometimes con- 
sisting of a single huge hollowed block of stone , where behind 
rich curtains lay the symbol of a god and a sacred animal. The 
sanctuary was surrounded by a number of chambers of various 
sizes, and staircases led to the roof and to other apartments which 
either served as dwellings for the custodians and receptacles for 
the temple furniture, or for the celebration of sacred rites. 

Having thus glanced at the internal arrangements of the temple, 
we may now retrace our steps and rejoin the devout procession. 
The lower classes of the people (the 'Pasu'), forming the great bulk 
of the procession, were not permitted to advance beyond the sacred 
grove and the courtyard, where on certain days they offered sacri- 
fices. The 'Patu', or lowest grade of the instructed, the 'Rekhiu', 
or esoterics, who were initiated into the sacred mysteries, and the 
'Ammiu', or enlightened, advanced into the great hall, and from 



the portal of the Prosekos, or hall 'of the manifestation of majesty', 
they were permitted to behold from afar the sacred emblem of 
divinity. These worshippers were now passed by the king and the 
officiating priests, who ascended in solemn procession to the roof, 
while the high priest entered the small and sombre chamber of the 
god. The annexed ground-plan of the S. temple at Karnak will 
render the foregoing description more intelligible (Fig. X], and 
analogous arrangements might easily be pointed out in the temples 
of other nations, such as those of Semitic race. The erection of 
obelisks or colossi (or both) in front of the pylons is also suscep- 
tible of easy explanation. The obelisks, the form of which was well 
adapted to break the monotonous outline of the walls, record in 

X. Ground Plan of the S. Temple at Karnak. 

hieroglyphic inscriptions the victorious power bestowed on the 
Pharaohs by the god , while the Toyal statues remind beholders of 
the duty of monarchs to show their gratitude by erecting temples to 
the gods. The winged disk of the sun with the heads of the Uraeus 
serpent over every entrance has also a noteworthy signification. It 
symbolises the victory of Horus over Typhon, and the triumph of 
good over evil ; and an inscription at Edfu informs us that, after 
the victory of Horus, Thoth (reason) commanded this symbol to be 
placed over all entrances. On the other hand the way in which 
architecture is constantly made subservient to painting, for the 
purpose of obtaining surfaces for symbols and inscriptions , is 
unpleasing. Every column, every pillar, every roof-beam, and every 
wall is embellished with raised or engraved figures and characters, 
all of which are painted. The scenes which portray the victories of 
the Pharaohs, and their intercourse with the gods, are always ac- 
companied by explanatory inscriptions, and even the simplest orna- 
ments used under the new empire have some symbolical signification. 
The form of temple above described sometimes required to be 
varied in consequence of the nature of the site. In Lower Nubia 
the sandstone rocks approach so near the Nile that the temples had 
to be partially or wholly excavated in their sides. At Girgeh, for 
example (Fig. XI), the pylons and the colonnaded courtyard were 
built in the open air in front of the temple, while the hypostyle and 



the sanctuary were excavated in the rock. The larger temple of Abu 
Simbel, on the other hand, including the pylons and the colossi, is 
entirely excavated in the rock. During the Ptolemaean era other de- 
viations from the traditional types came into vogue. Differences in 

i 4 ( 

XI. Ground Plan of the Grotto of Girgeh. 

the forms of the capitals, in the ornamentation, and other details, 
as well as a more arbitrary disposition of the temple arrangements 
themselves, now clearly betray the invasion of Greek influences. 

Several of these late buildings, entirely enclosed by columns, 
with intervening walls rising to half the height of the columns, 
or even higher, so strongly resemble the Greek peripteral temples 
externally, that some internal similarity is involuntarily expected. 
The probable object of some of these edifices, namely to serve as 
enclos ures for sacred animals, proves them to be of purely Egyptian 
origin; but, owing to the abnormal disposition of the different 
members, it is difficult to conceive them to be products of purely 
native art. Besides the temples in the island of Philae, the im- 
posing edifices of Edfu (Apollinopolis Magna), Kom Ombu (Ombos), 
Esneh (Latopolis), Tentyris (Dendera), and Erment (Hermonthis), 
afford ample opportunities for the study of the Ptolemsean style of 
architecture, the impression produced by which is apt to procure 
for Egyptian art a less favourable general verdict than it strictly 

While the edifices dedicated to the service of the gods belong 
exclusively to the period of the new empire, there still exist Mor- 
tuary Temples the origin of which may be traced back to the re- 
motest periods of the ancient empire. The oldest of these temples 
are called Mastabas (comp. p. 379), and contained a chapel for the 
celebration of sepulchral rites, as well as a tomb. The kings, 
however, were not satisfied with a monument in which their 
tombs and mortuary chapels were united, but adjacent to their 
pyramids erected temples in which sacrifices were to be offered for 
the welfare of their souls. The handsome pillar-structure of granite 


and alabaster near the great Sphinx appears to have been a temple of 
this kind in connection -with the pyramid of Chefren. Under the 
new empire also the kings constructed their actual burial-places at 
a distance from the monuments dedicated to their memory. The 
deep rock vaults in the ravines of the royal tombs were the resting- 
places of their remains, while the great 'Memnonia' (which are 
placed exclusively on the W. bank of the Nile at Thebes) were the 
temples where rites were celebrated in their memory. The most inter- 
esting feature of the mortuary temples is their pictorial decoration. 
The subjects of those in the memnonia are of course the power and 
prosperity, the victories and achievements, of the monarchs, while 
the private chapels contained scenes from the domestic life of the 
deceased. The memnonia sometimes covered a very extensive area, 
like that of Ramses II., which contained a library and a school. 
Most of them have pylons and large colonnaded halls, but it cannot 
now be ascertained whether they were uniform in their arrangements. 
By far the greater number of Egyptian sculptures are in im- 
mediate connection with architectural works. Colossal statues 
mount guard over pylons and pillars, and every available surface 
is adorned with reliefs. If these plastic works are to be fairly 
judged, they must be regarded as component parts of the building 
they adorned. Speaking of the colossal statues, Dr. Lepsius justly 
remarks : — 'The features of these statues, which even received 
divine honours, and were enthroned in, or in front of, temples in 
a commanding position, either as structural supports, or detached 
from the pillars behind them, wear the same character of monu- 
mental repose as the statues of the gods themselves , and yet 
without the possibility of their human individuality being 
confounded with the universally typical features of the divine 
images'. — This is chiefly the case with the colossal sitting 
statues, whose position (with their legs bent at a right angle, 
their arms firmly pressed against their sides , and their heads 
looking in a perfectly straight direction) may well be called stiff, 
but not properly conventional. Many peculiarities of Egyptian 
art, especially during the eaTlier period, are apt to be attributed to 
the imperative requirements of sacerdotal authority, but they 
are perhaps rather to be accounted for by the imperfection of 
artistic development. The sculptors exhibit great skill in detail, 
but they seem incapable of making their skill subserve the general 
effect of their works. They have obviously striven to represent each 
member of the body with the utmost fidelity, but they were inca- 
pable of combining them harmoniously. Thus, we generally 
see reliefs with the faces in profile, the chest nearly facing us, 
and the legs again in profile, a peculiarity which recurs in the 
works of other Oriental nations, and even in those of the Greeks of 
the early period. This defect was at length overcome by the Greeks, 
but of the Egyptian artists it continued permanently characteristic, 



just as their heroes invariably retain the primitive distinction of 
being delineated in much larger proportions than other persons. 
Hampered by these immutable rules as to proportion (which were 
modified twice only in the course of several thousand years), Egyp- 

tian art appears to have been seriously checked in its growth, and 
to have entered, after a brief period of efflorescence, on a long era 
of what may be termed Byzantinism, — and yet in many respects 
the Egyptian sculptures merit our highest admiration. The artistic 
effects capable of being produced in any given material, such as 
granite, were always calculated with the nicest discrimination; 
nothing capable of achievement is left undone, and beyond this 
nothing is attempted. The sculptors are notable for their knowledge 
of anatomy, for their accuracy in the delineation of muscle, for 
their skill in portraiture, and for their fidelity in representing 
animal life. Of all the Egyptian works the figures of the gods are 
perhaps the least happy. To us they seem to exhibit a want of taste 
and intelligence ; but this is perhaps to be accounted for by the fact 
that they were intended to be worshipped only, and not admired. 
That the practice of art was very highly developed in Egypt is proved 
not merely by the great extent to which the division of labour was 
carried, but by the fact that the artists understood the process of 
copying figures by dividing them into squares and calculating their 
proportions so as to be able to reduce or enlarge them at pleasure. 
As all authorities, however, concur in pronouncing the Egyptian 
artists perfect in point of technical skill, it would be superfluous 
to say more on this branch of the subject. 

Besides the painting of the Egyptian plastic works, another pe- 
culiarity is the incision of the reliefs, which recede from the surface 
instead of being raised above it. These 'coelanoglyphs', or 'reliefs en 
creux' , which somewhat resemble pieces of embroidery, produce 
nearly the same effect as paintings. Their object is the same, and 
the style of composition, design , and artistic execution are nearly 


identical. No attention whatever was paid to tastefulness in group- 
ing or uniformity of arrangement , the separate scenes being merely 
placed beside or over each other; but, individually, these are re- 
markable for distinctness and excellence of execution, and they 
afford us a far more vivid picture of the life of the ancient Egypt- 
ians, their customs, their wars, and their religious rites, than 
any written chronicle could have afforded. In artistic finish, on the 
other hand, these scenes are defective, and the colouring has no in- 
dependent value , being merely used to make the figures stand 
out more distinctly, and imitating nature in the crudest possible 

In the province of artistic conception we find Egyptian im- 
agination fettered by traditional bonds which it made no effort to 
break ; but in the practice of the handicrafts Egypt was perfect. 
The goldsmiths and workers in metal in particular had attained the 
most complete mastery of their craft; they thoroughly understood 
all its ancillary arts, such as enamelling and Damascene work, and 
they were thus able to produce works of a degree of finish such as 
a highly civilised nation alone could execute and appreciate. 

The traveller should note the signification of some of the SYm- 
bols and Signs most commonly used in the ornamentation of the 

columns and other parts of the Egyptian temples. Thus, [ is the 

crook or shepherd's staff, the emblem of the leader or monarch ; 

J\ a scourge, the symbol of kingly power. When both are in 

the hand of the same figure they perhaps import the power of 

restraining and of urging onwards. Then ■¥• a seal , the symbol 

5 1 P / 

Nilometer , the symbol of steadfastness ; \J the red 

crown of Lower Egypt ; Q the white crown of Upper Egypt ; YJ 

the united crown of Upper and Lower Egypt ; 17. and the Uraeus 

serpent. On diadems and suns was placed the emblem ids. The 
Uraeus serpent, possessing the power of life and death, was 

the emblem of kingly power. The sceptre, j user, denoted author- 
ity of various kinds, power, wealth, and victorious strength. The 
sceptre T, which is read us, t'am, or ouab, indicates the name of 

the Theban nomos ; ^ — ' , a basket, signifies a master ; V&-/, a 
decorated basket, a festival, or solemn assembly, at which offerings 

were made in such receptacles; l\ maa, an ostrich-feather, truth 

and justice ; C J, ran, the frame surrounding the names of kings, 


signifies the name ; jOf kheper, the scarabseus or beetle, the prin- 
ciple of genesis and regeneration. The precise meaning of the 
symbol V is unknown, but it is read sam, and signifies union. It 

is frequently observed at the foot of statues, entwined with aquatic 
plants, where it is symbolical of the union of Upper and Lower 
Egypt, and perhaps of the union of this world with the next. The 
lock 9 on the temple of a figure marks it as a child, generally the 
offspring of the gods or of the kings. 

IX. Buildings of the Mohammedans. 

Mosques. Dwelling Houses. 

By Franz-Bey , Architect at Cairo. 

The Mohammedan style of architecture in the \alley of the Nile 
was not, as might perhaps be expected, the immediate successor 
of the Egyptian, but was separated from it by that of the early 
Christian epoch, a period of six or seven centuries. This new style 
was not of native growth, but was imported from abroad, being of 
Arabian origin, considerably modified by the forms of art which the 
victorious Arabs found in vogue among the Byzantines, and by 
those of Persian art of the era of the Sassanides. Different as the 
Arabian buildings at Baghdad and Cairo may appear from those at 
Tunis and in Spain, they all possess certain features in common. 
The fundamental idea of all Mohammedan architecture originated 
in the nomadic life of the Arabs. The tent was the prototype, 
alike of the house and of the temple. The walls in particular, with 
their carpet-like decoration , and their extensive, unrelieved sur- 
faces, remind one of this origin. This style of architecture is that 
of the fickle children of the desert, whose edifices, even after they 
had become a settled and stationary nation, continue to convey an 
idea of unsubstantiality, and who never attained to a clear per- 
ception of the proportion to be observed between the support and 
the burden to be borne. This defect is less apparent in cases where 
the Arabian builders were brought under the influence of more 
civilised nations, where they employed columns, entablatures, and 
other fragments of ruined edifices which they found available, or 
where, as sometimes happened, they were aided by Byzantine or 
other foreign architects, than in purely Arabian edifices like the 
Alhambra in Spain ; but in every case the national characteristic 
is more or less distinctly traceable. 

The buildings most immediately connected with the national 
traditions are the Religious Edifices, the leading feature of which 
consists of the Court, such as that seen at Mecca, which dates from 
a period even earlier than that of Mohammed himself. The walls 


of the court , indeed , lost their primitive simplicity after their 
designers had been brought into contact with the colonnaded courts 
of Egypt and the Syrian regions, and the Columnar Court was thus 
developed ; but the Arabian builders avoided using or imitating 
Egyptian columns. They preferred the columns or remains of col- 
umns of the Alexandrian and Roman period, as the massive pro- 
portions of those of the Egyptian style were less appropriate to a 
light and open structure than the columns of the richly decorated 
Corinthian order. 

They borrowed their cornicings, which they employed but spar- 
ingly, and their mosaic ornamentation, such as arabesques, from the 
Byzantine models which they found in Syria and in the oldest 
Byzantine-Christian edifices of Egypt, and their pointed arches and 
domes chiefly from the region of the Euphrates. At the same time 
they contrived to impart to their works a certain individuality of 
character, partly by the elegance of their forms and the preference 
given to superficial over architectural decoration, and still more so 
by the peculiar character of their ornamentation, resembling the 
patterns of textile fabrics , and obviously imitated from wall- 
tapestry. Similar patterns appear also in their latticed windows, 
their carved doors, and their diapered balconies. 

The Exterior of these buildings is generally plain, consisting of 
a lofty, rectangular enclosing wall of quadrangular plan, but not 
entirely without relief in the form of projections and indentations. 
In the mosques there are usually minarets and domes projecting 
beyond this general outline, and this is still more commonly the 
case with the public fountains (sebil) and the mosque schools 
(medreseh) above them. The portal, on the other hand, and certain 
perpendicular sections of the building of various widths, generally 
recede a little, the latter a few inches only, being again brought 
forward immediately below the cornicing to the level of the facade 
by means of a 'stalactite' corbelling. In these last also the windows 
are often inserted with little regard to symmetry. In the corners of 
the projections thus formed, as well as in the other angles of the 
building, we frequently find columns of marble inserted, or columns 
hewn out of the material of the building, and detached to the extent 
of three-fourths of their thickness. The whole plan of the stone 
facades, which is not devoid of a certain degree of grandeur, 
reminds us of those of the ancient Egyptian temples, although the 
Muslims were generally scrupulously careful to avoid every resem- 
blance to the pagan buildings. The portal is generally the richest 
part of the edifice. The windows are simpler, and less importance 
is given to the principal cornice than the height and other dimen- 
sions of the building would seem to demand. 

The Portals consist of rectangular niches, of such depth as to 
allow room on the left and right outside the door for the mastabas, 
or stone-benches used by the doorkeeper (bawwab). This door- 


niche in the mosques rises nearly to the full height of the facade, 
and terminates at the top either in a sphere, or in a polygonal half- 
dome, partly ribbed, and partly embellished with pendentives or 
'stalactites'. The two perpendicular mural pillars of the niche 
approach each other towards the top, either in curved or in straight 
lines converging at an acute angle. In neither case, however, do they 
actually meet, the niche terminating above in a hemispherical dome, 
which springs from the converging lines. The form of the entrance 
varies considerably. In some cases it terminates above in an archi- 
trave, in others in a round or pointed arch, while fantastically 
waved or broken-arch forms are also not uncommon. The commonest 
style in the mosques is the architrave form with segmental relieving 
arches. A favourite practice was to pave the threshold with an an- 
cient block of red or black granite, even if covered with hiero- 
glyphics, and in many cases these venerable inscriptions are still 
traceable. In the mosques, on the resting-place in front of the door, 
is a low railing which marks the boundary to which the visitor may 
penetrate without removing his shoes or sandals, t 

The Windows are more commonly rectangular than arched, 
and are sometimes grouped in twos and threes, in which case they 
are often tastefully adorned with round, oval, or star-shaped ro- 
settes in plaster, perforated, and filled with coloured glass. This 
arrangement has many points of resemblance to the Byzantine 
and Romanesque styles. The window in the facades are frequently 
surrounded with scrolls in low relief, and with flat bands or roll- 
mouldings. On the inside they are usually adorned with friezes in 
plaster with arabesques. 

Special importance was attached to the principal doors of mon- 
umental buildings , which as a rule were massively mounted with 
iron or bronze, or were constructed of pieces of wood of different 
colours, ingeniously fitted together. The portals of some of the 
mosques are embellished with bronze decorations , beautifully 
embossed and chased. The doors in the interior of the buildings 
are often richly inlaid with ebony and ivory. 

The Dome, a very salient feature in Mohammedan buildings, 
especially in the mosques and mausolea , varies much in form ; 
the base of the structure projects beyond the square ground- 
plan of the edifice, and the summit rises above the enclosing wall. 
The dome , which tapers upwards in an elliptical form and is 
adorned with knobs and crescents, is blended with the quadrangular 
interior of the mausoleum by means of pendentives ; while, ex- 
ternally, the union of the cube with the sphere is somewhat masked 
by the polygonal base of the dome. In some cases the transition is 
effected by means of gradations resembling steps, each of which is 

i In the more frequented mosques the custodians provide slippers for 
the use of Frank visitors. Fee 1 silver piastre. 


crowned with a half-pyramidal excrescence of the height of the step. 
These excrescences might be regarded as external prolongations of 
the pendentives of the interior, but do not correspond with them in 
position. The architects, however, doubtless intended to suggest 
some such connection between the internal and external orna- 
mentation. The domes are constructed partly of stone and partly 
of brick, the pendents being of stone, or of plaster and lath-work, 
and they are sometimes of considerable length. The finest are 
probably those of the Khalifs' Tombs. The greatly elongated domes 
of the Mameluke tombs have a second dome structure in their in- 
terior. The latter, lying much lower, supports walls placed in a 
radiating form, which bear the upper dome. One of these dilapi- 
dated tombs (p. 327) affords a good opportunity of examining this 
mode of construction. Near it there is also a dome with a lantern, a 
form quite foreign to the customary style of Arabian dome building. 

It is a mistake to suppose that the joints are not cut in a straight 
direction, but were formed in curved or broken lines which re- 
quired each stone to be an exact counterpart of its neighbour. 
This arrangement is occasionally seen in the case of straight or 
flat segment-shaped plinths, but even there this kind of con- 
struction is often merely simulated by means of inlaid marble of 
different colours. 

The Minarets (from the Arabic menareh, 'a signal' or 'signal- 
post') are generally square at the base, tapering upwards, story by 
story, until the form at length changes to that of an octagon or 
cylinder. On these towers the architects have expended their utmost 
skill, and the spectator will not fail to be struck by their graceful 
proportions. The highest story is sometimes formed of pilasters, 
or columns, which bear a roof, either consisting of one or more 
dome-shaped protuberances with the symbol of El-Islam, or of a 
simple conical point. They are generally built of substantial ma- 
sonry, and contain Winding Staircases of stone leading to the 
galleries of the different stories and to the balconies between them. 
From these last the mueddins summon the faithful to prayer 
(p. 147). The galleries are borne by projecting cornices, and the 
balconies by brackets of similar construction. The wooden rods 
and hooks at the top of the minarets are used for hanging up the 
lamps during the fasting month of Ramadan. The mosques were 
also formerly provided with external platforms (called mabkharas), 
on which incense used to be burned on high festivals , so as to 
diffuse sweet perfumes throughout the whole neighbourhood. The 
mosque of El-Hakim is now the only one which still possesses 
platforms of this kind. 

The Public Fountains (sebils), with the Mosque Schools (medresehs) 
on the first floor, are frequently included within the rectangular pre- 
cincts of the mosques, but they sometimes project from them in a 
circular form. The exterior of these buildings, and also of the open 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. [1 


colonnades used for scholastic purposes, is frequently adorned with 
detached columns, which is not the case with the religious edifices. 

The Interiors of the mosques , on the other hand, are freely 
embellished with columns, the court being usually bordered by a 
colonnade, which is doubled or trebled on the side next the prayer- 
niche (kibla). 

Cairo presents no example of a distinct Arabian order of column, 
and hardly a single Arabian capital, those actually executed by Arabs 
(such as those adjoining the prayer-recess of the mosques) being 
imperfectly developed, and copied from Byzantine and Ptoiemaan 
models. The form of capital which seems peculiar to Cairo is very 
simple and is also used as a base. Proceeding from the four corners 
of the abacus in curved lines are four surfaces which unite below 
with the ligature of the round or octagonal column. The numerous 
columns which adorn the mosques and private houses originally 
belonged, almost without exception, to Roman orPtolemaean struc- 
tures, and sometimes to Christian churches. The Mohammedans 
did not, however, employ columns belonging to the ancient Egyptian 
temples unless they had already been remodelled and used in Greek 
or Roman structures. Thus the Roman pedestals with remains of 
hieroglyphics occasionally seen in the mosques must originally have 
belonged to Egyptian temples. The architects of the mosques col- 
lected the columns they required for their purpose with little regard 
to their dimensions. If they were too short, a pedestal, or a revers- 
ed capital was placed beneath them , regardless of the order to 
which it belonged. Ionic and Corinthian columns are mingled pro- 
miscuously, and a certain degree of uniformity in the architecture 
is only observed when the abacus is reached. On this last lies a 
second abacus of sycamore wood secured by a wooden bar, from 
which lamps are frequently suspended. 

The arches of the Arcades are almost invariably pointed, being 
at first round, while their sides go off at a tangent near the top ; or 
they gradually assume the keel-shape, being slightly curved inwards 
below in the shape of a horseshoe. There are also other forms which 
approach still more nearly to the Gothic pointed arch ; and there 
seems little doubt that this form, so early and so generally employed 
at Cairo, was exported thence to Sicily, and became the type which 
afterwards extended to Northern Europe. Beyond this resemblance 
in the form of the arch, however, and in some of the details of 
the windows, the pointed style possesses nothing in common with 
the Arabian. The Gothic gateway of marble between the mosques 
of Kalaun and Barkukiyeh (p. '278) in the Derb el-Nahhasin must, 
therefore, be regarded as a work executed under European in- 
fluence. The popular account of it is that it was brought from 
some island. 

The arcades of the mosques and other spacious halls are covered 
with a flat Ceiling of open-work, of almost uniform height. The 


junction of the walls and ceiling is generally maskedby a pendent 
cornice, or a cornice with a frieze for inscriptions. The beams 
used in the construction of the ceilings are generally square at both 
ends to a length of 3-5 ft. , beyond which they are rounded below, 
and frequently carved. The interstices between the beams are 
sometimes divided into 'coffers' ; and proper coffered ceilings also 
occur, as in the mosque Salaheddin Yusuf in the citadel (p. 264). 
In the corners of the apartments, as well as under the principal 
architraves, pendents are generally placed to conceal the angles. 
The earliest ceilings appear to have consisted of palm-trunks, and 
then covered with boards of sycamore wood, which were often richly 
carved. The space immediately in front of the kibla (prayer niche) 
usually terminated in a dome borne by columns. Spherical and 
groined vaulting was used for smaller chambers only ; but the 
arcades oftheBarkuk mosque (p. 282), with their depressed spher- 
ical brick vaulting, form an exception to this rule. In secular 
buildings the use of vaulting is much more frequent , as in the 
case of the city-gate Bab en-Nasr (p. 280) and other arched pas- 
sages. The entire ground-floors of palaces are also sometimes 
vaulted, and bridges and aqueducts were usually executed in barrel 
vaulting, or with pointed arches. 

The Decorations generally consist of panelling or flat paintings, 
destitute of structural meaning, while pilasters, cornices, and other 
architectural embellishments are rare. This species of ornamenta- 
tion was doubtless originally suggested by the carpets , fringes, 
and mats, used by the Arabs for covering their walls. The stalactite 
corbellings, on the other hand, which mask the union of the vertical 
with the horizontal parts of the building, and take the place of the 
vaulting used in western architecture , are of a more structural 
character ; but even these perform no real architectural function, 
and form a mere fantastic decoration of the angles of the domes. 

The panel and frieze decorations are either foliage, geometrical 
figures, or written characters. The Foliage is usually shaped in 
rectangular relief, with a few incisions to divide the broader 
surfaces. The moulding is generally more or less in conformity 
with the spirit of the classical style, but in the conventional 
arabesques the leaves and other parts of plants of a southern 
climate are recognisable. The Geometrical Figures consist either 
of a kaleidoscopic arrangement of constantly recurring fantastic 
forms , or of a series of intertwined and broken lines. Lastly, 
the Arabic Written Characters with which the friezes are often 
decorated, and more particularly the Cufic and Sullus characters, 
are peculiarly well adapted for ornamental purposes, as they 
resemble decorative foliage, although destitute of its strictly sym- 
metrical and continuous character. When the writing is em- 
ployed for lengthy inscriptions in low relief, the ground on which 
it is placed is generally covered with slightly raised arabesques. 


Panels or friezes bearing inscriptions of this character produce a 
very rich and pleasing appearance. When viewed from a moderate 
distance, especially if enhanced by colouring, the broad characters 
stand out with great effect. The ground then resembles a network 
of lace , the delicate lines of the arabesques being indistinguish- 
able except oti close inspection. Sultan Hasan's mosque (p. 260) 
contains a remarkably handsome frieze of this description. The 
large and bold characters on the mosques or private houses which 
strike the eye of the traveller are almost invariably texts from the 
Koran, while historical notices in a small running character are 
often inscribed on marble slabs over the entrances and the lattice- 
work of the sebils, wherethey are sometimes carved in wood. Similar 
inscriptions also occasionally occur in the halls of the interior. 

The observer can scarcely fail to be struck with the apparently 
capricious wayin which this ornamentation is distributed, the artist 
having sometimes lavished the whole richness of his arabesques 
upon certain spots to the neglect of others. When this peculiarity 
is more closely examined, it will be found that the parts thus 
favoured are — (1) the Portals, which are embellished with a 
framework of rich friezes, with rosettes to mark certain points, 
with artistic sculpturing on the architrave, and with pendents in 
the ceiling of the niche ; (2) the Minarets, which it was customary 
to place over or adjacent to the portals, but seldom from structural 
motives ; (3) the external surfaces of the Dome, which are sometimes 
covered with arabesques, and sometimes with roll -mouldings 
or wreaths ; (4) the Kibla, with its handsome border, its capitals 
and columns, which are often rich and beautiful , its fine mosaics, 
its miniature pseudo-arcades ; (5) the Pendents in the interior of 
mausoleums ; [6) the Ceilings ; (7) the Mambar (pulpit), which is 
partly in stone and paTtly in wood. The lattice-work , windows, 
doors, couches or sofas (dikkeh), lanterns, and lamps are also much 
ornamented. These last are sometimes made of very curious 
enamelled glass, but few are now to be found in the mosques. 

Colour does not perhaps play quite so conspicuous a part in the 
Egypto-Arabian monuments as in the Spanish ; but the Egyptian 
artists, like those of the Alhambra, were also much addicted to the 
use of bright colours, aspecially red, blue, yellow, gold, and white. 
The ground of the decorative inscriptions is frequently deep blue, 
while the letters are usually gilded. On the whole, however, 
painting was never so highly developed here as in Spain, where 
the artists showed a certain appreciation of perspective by painting 
the lower parts of their walls with dark colours and gradually 
shading them upwards with lighter and more brilliant tints. In 
their colouring, as well as in their ornamental reliefs, it is obvious 
that the Egyptian artists aimed at producing effect by contrasts. 
The pavement consists of the richest marble mosaic, for the most 
partin dark colours, the walls are generally painted, and the cornice 


and ceiling richly coloured and gilded. In the more important 
private houses we sometimes find the walls covered with majolica. 
The traveller will also he struck with the beautiful effects of colour 
produced by the Inlaid Work in the kiblas of certain mosques (the 
tombs of Kalaun, Tulun, and Kait Bey), where marble, porphyry, 
mother-of-pearl , and Venetian enamel have been combined. In 
the case of Cabinet Work the colours used for inlaying are dark 
brown, black (ebony), white (ivory), and bronze. Externally the 
dark yellowish stone of which the buildings were constructed 
produced a naturally pleasing effect, which the architects oc- 
casionally endeavoured to enhance by colouring every alternate 
course red or black ; while important parts were adorned with 
marble mosaic , majolicas, panelling, and gilding. Owing to the 
mildness of the climate of Egypt much of the original colouring 
has been preserved, but it must not be confounded with the rude 
and staring painting of stone facades and marble ornaments exe- 
cuted on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. 

The secular edifices , like the sacred , and particularly the 
Dwelling Houses, have also their characteristic peculiarities. The 
ordinary town-houses are constructed of stone on the ground-floor, 
and generally have an overhanging upper story. The projecting 
parts sometimes rest on pillars, but more commonly on beautifully 
carved brackets of peculiar form, and are provided with a kind of 
bow-window, which serves the double purpose of ventilating the 
house and of affording a view of the street to the women concealed 
behind the lattice-work. The small perforated and generally octa- 
gonal balconies, with round holes at the bottom, are used for cooling 
the drinking-water in porous vessels (kullehs), whence they derive 
their name of Mushrebiyehs (from sharab, a draught). These bal- 
conies are rectangular in shape, buttheirsides are sometimes arched, 
and the lattice-work round them, composed of turned pieces of 
wood, often forms an ingenious and elaborate pattern. The roofs 
of these mushrebiyehs usually project in a tent-like form , and 
instead of cornices they have pendent friezes cut out of boards. 
The union of these projections with the surface of the wall below 
is generally masked by means of richly carved and elegantly waved 
mouldings with tasteful rosettes. Above the mushrebiyehs , which 
rarely extend to the height of the apartment within, there are 
usually introduced upper windows, with stucco frames, filled with 
stained glass. — The Cornices of the houses project but slightly, 
curving a little outwards when pendentives are not employed ; 
and they are almost always crowned with pinnacles, which are often 
most elaborately executed. We may also mention the curious form 
of cornice seen in the Mameluke Tombs, where the projecting ends 
of the roof-beams are serrated. 

"While bestowing their full meed of praise on the wonderfully 
rich ornamentation and other details of Arabian architecture, one 


cannot help feeling that the style fails to give entire aesthetic 
satisfaction. Want of symmetry in plan, poverty of articulation, 
insufficiency of plastic decoration, and an incongruous mingling of 
stone and wood, are the imperfections which strike most northern 
critics. The architects, in fact, bestowed the whole of their attention 
on the decoration of surfaces; and down to the present day the 
Arabian artists have always displayed far greater ability in tracing 
elegant outlines, and designing the most complicated ornaments 
and geometrical figures on plane surfaces, than in the treatment 
and proportioning of masses. Although we occasionally see diffi- 
culties of construction well overcome, as in the case of the interior 
of the Bab en-Nasr , these instances seem rather to be successful 
experiments than the result of scientific workmanship. The real 
excellence of the Arabian architects lay in their skill in masking 
abrupt angles by the use of 'stalactites' or brackets. 

If we enquire into the causes of these defects in the develop- 
ment of art we shall find that the climate is one of the principal. 
Its remarkable mildness and the rareness of rain have enabled ar- 
chitects to dispense with much that appears essential to the inhab- 
itant of more northern latitudes ; and hence the imperfect de- 
velopment and frequent absence of cornices. The extraordinary 
durability of wood in Egypt , again , has led to its being used in 
the construction of walls, and in connection with stone, in a man- 
ner which would never occur to northern architects. Another 
circumstance unfavourable to the development of native art has 
doubtless been the ease with which the architects obtained abun- 
dance of pillars and capitals in ancient buildings ready to their 
hand. There were also political obstacles to the progress of art, 
such as frequent intestine struggles and dissensions , and the 
sway of despotic rulers and their servile officers ; and, lastly, the 
characteristic Egyptian tenacity and veneration for tradition and 
religious precept have not been without their influence. The ori- 
ginal design of the mosque, for example, was borrowed from Mecca, 
and no deviation could be made from its plan ; and this accounts 
for the invariable recurrence of the same forms in the mosques of 
Egypt. In a few instances architects ventured to introduce in- 
novations, but they never failed to revert sooner or later to the 
established style. The external architecture of private houses, 
however, being unfettered by religious considerations, might have 
progressed more favourably butl'orthe powerful influence of super- 
stition and fear. An external display of wealth, according to the 
popular notion , drew upon its possessor the 'evil eye' of the cove- 
tous, the consequence of which was misfortune or death, while, on 
the other hand , it afforded the government a pretext for extorting 
heavy taxes from the occupant. It therefore became customary 
with the Egyptians to restrict any appearance of luxury to the 
interior of their harems, where it is exhibited in the sumptuous 


furniture and hangings, and in the jewellery of the women. These 
indications of wealth are never seen except by the proprietor's 
nearest relations and the female friends of his wives, and are 
effectually concealed from the view of the government and of the 
general public. 

With regard to Sculpture and Painting it will strike the tra- 
veller that the modern Egyptian chisel and brush have been reserv- 
ed exclusively for the decoration of wall surfaces. Representations 
of animals occur rarely , while those of the human figure were 
prohibited by the Koran (comp. p. 218). The latter, however, are 
occasionally met with. One of the Tulunides, for example, caused 
a festal hall to be adorned with painted wooden statues of himself, 
his wives , and his favourite dancers ; and at Cairo there was 
even a famous manufactory of figures of men and animals at that 
period. In the 11th cent., as we are informed, there were two cel- 
ebrated painters at Cairo who vied with each other in the execu- 
tion of relief pictures. One of them painted a dancer, who seemed 
to be disappearing into the wall, while his rival painted another 
who seemed to be coming out from it. El-Kitami ? s picture of 
Joseph in the pit was also a far-famed work. On the whole, how- 
ever, these branches of art were but little developed, the Egyp- 
tians resembling the Israelites in this respect. The Arabs were 
more successful, however, in the prosecution of artistic handicrafts, 
and excelled in the embellishment of all kinds of implements in 
metal-work, enamel, inlaying, engraving, etc. Their decorative 
ingenuity, developed by these arts quite as much as by the wall 
decorations, and applied to textile fabrics also , has attained so 
wide a celebrity, that the word 'Arabesque' is now nearly syno- 
nymous with 'ornament'. The word 'Grotesque' was once similarly 
applied to the western style of decoration borrowed by Raphael 
and Giovanni da Udine from the 'Grottoes' of the Baths of Titus at 
Rome, and employed by them with singular success in the loggie 
of the Vatican, but this word has long since lost its original 

The Mosques are divided, in accordance with their religious 
importance, into two kinds : (1) those in which the sermon 
(khutbeh) is preached on Fridays, called Garni'; (2) those in which 
prayer only is offered daily except on Fridays, named Mesgidt, 
or Zawiya. The name mesgid, which has been imported from 
Constantinople, is less frequently used than Zawiya, which de- 
notes a small mosque, consisting of one chamber only. 

t It is from this word mesgid (which means a place for prostration), 
that we derive the word mosque, through the Spanish mezquila and the 
French mosqude. 


The Muslims also repeat their prayers at the grated windows of 
the mausolea of their saints (shekh, onveli ; see p. 152), behind 
which is visible a catafalque, covered with bright coloured carpets, 
but by no means invariably containing the remains of the holy man. 
These weli's, or tombs of shekhs, occur in every part of the coun- 
try, being frequently built into the houses, and are easily recognis- 
ed by their cubic form and their domes. They are rarely more than 
4-6 yds. square, and are generally whitewashed. The interior is 
often empty and infested with scorpions and vermin. 

Every Garni' has a court of considerable size, generally uncov- 
ered, called the Fasha, or Sahn el-GdmV, in the centre of which is 
the Hanefiyeh, or fountain for religious ablution. On the E. side 
the court is adjoined by the Liwan , covered with carpets or mats 
(Hasireh), where the sacred vessels are kept. Between the Liwan 
and the court there often runs a mushrebiyeh railing which sepa- 
rates the holy place of the Gamf from the court. 

In the Liwan we observe : (1) the Kibla or Mihrab, the 
prayer-niche turned towards Mecca ; (2) the Mambar, or pulpit, to 
the right of the Kibla, from which the Khatib or Imam addresses the 
faithful ; (3) the Kursi (pi. Kerasi), or reading-desk, on which the 
Koran (which is kept at other times in a cabinet of its own) lies 
open during divine service ; (4) the Dikkeh, a podium borne by col- 
umns, and surrounded by a low railing, from which the Moballigh 
(assistants of the Khatib) repeat the words of the Koran, which is 
read at the Kibla, for the benefit of the people at a distance; 
(5) the various lamps and lanterns (Kindtl and Fanus). By the 
side of the Sahn el-Gami r is another small court with a basin of 
water and other conveniences, which the faithful almost invariably 
visit before entering the sacred precincts. Adjoining the Liwan is 
usually placed the mausolenm of the founder of the mosque, called 
Maksura, and farther distant, by the principal entrance, is the Sebil 
(fountain) with the Medreseh (school). Under the Sebil is a cistern, 
which is filled during the inundation of the Nile. These fountains 
are often richly adorned with marble and bronze railings. They are 
protected by a very projecting roof, and above them is the more or less 
handsome school hall. The railings whence the water is distributed 
are usually approached by several steps. The interior of the Sebil 
consists of a single large chamber, the pavement of which is about 
3 ft. below the level of the surrounding soil, and in it the water 
drawn from the cistern is placed in vessels for distribution at the 
railings. Adjacent to the Sebils are sometimes placed troughs for 
watering animals. The water stored in these cisterns is generally 
in great request in June, when the Nile water becomes unwhole- 
some , assuming a green colour caused by the presence of myriads 
of microscopically small plants. The Medreseh usually consists of 
a single hall, with a store-room for its simple furniture. 

Considered with respect to their ground-plans, the mosques are 


classed in two leading groups : (1) those of rectangular plan, with 
hypaethral columns or pilasters round the open court (see plan of the 
mosques of 'Amr, p. 324, and Barkuk, p. 282) ; and (2) those 
which have a rectangular or cruciform court surrounded by closed 
rooms, like the mosque of Sultan Hasan and most of the tomb 
mosques, or those where the tomb is of large size compared with the 
Sahn el-Gami f . 

The Tombs of the Muslims (comp. also p. 155) are generally 
situated on high ground, uninfluenced by the moisture of the river, 
and sometimes in the desert. The chambers are destitute of decora- 
tion. Within is a catafalque of stone resting on a more or less deco- 
rated pedestal, and bearing two upright columns (Shdhid) of marble 
or other stone , one of which , placed immediately over the head of 
the deceased, bears his name and age, with texts from the Koran. At 
the top of the shahid is represented the turban of the deceased, the 
form of which indicates his rank. Over the catafalques of persons 
of distinction are erected dome-shaped canopies, resting on four 
columns or pilasters , or their tombs have the closed form of those 
of the shekhs already mentioned. On festivals the catafalques 
and hollow parts of the pedestals are covered with palm-branches, 
flowers, and basilicum. On these occasions the friends, and especi- 
ally the female relatives, of the deceased often spend whole days 
by the tomb , engaged in prayer and almsgiving. For these mour- 
ners it was necessary to provide accommodation, and the result is 
that a complete mausoleum, with its rooms for the family, sebil, 
school, stables, custodian's residence , etc. . is often nearly as ex- 
tensive as the mosques themselves, while some of them are so large 
as almost to present the appearance of a small deserted town. To 
buildings of this kind the name of Hosh is applied. One of the most 
imposing of these is the tomb-mosque of Sultan Barkuk. 

The Dwelling - Houses , which rarely have more than two 
stories, are built in very various styles, but the following rules are 
generally observed in their construction : — (1) The principal 
rooms, particularly those of the Harem (p. 187), look into the court 
or garden, if there be one. (2) The windows looking to the street 
are small , placed very high , and strongly barred , while those 
of the upper floors are closed with mushrebiyeh (p. 181), which, 
however, are gradually being superseded by glass-windows with 
shutters. (3) The entrance-door (PI. I, 1), behind which is the 
seat (Mastaba, PI. I, 2) of the doorkeeper, is generally low and 
narrow, and the passage (PI. I, 3) leading from the street to the 
court is built in the form of an angle, to prevent people from seeing 
into the court. (4) The court [Hosh, PI. I, 4) is planted with trees and 
unpaved, and contains a well of water that has filtered through from 
the Nile. This water, however, is generally more or less brackish, 
and is used only for washing purposes and for the cattle. (5) By 
the entrance to the court, and on the same level, is the Mandara 



(PI. I, 7), or reception-room of the proprietor , with at least one 
Khazneh, or cabinet (PI. I, 15), and other conveniences. The 
Mandara of the best class is of symmetrical construction, and the 
door is in the middle of one of the sides. The central part of this 
hall , called the Durka'a, which is paved with marble mosaic and 
contains a fountain (Fasklyeh) , is one step lower than the sides 
on the right and left. The ground-plan is generally the same as that 
of the Ka'a (P!. I, 14). Opposite the entrance of the durka'a there 
is generally a Suffeh, or kind of stand in stone or marble, on 
which are placed the household utensils for washing, drinking, etc. 
The more elevated sides of the Mandara , called the Liwdn, are 
covered with carpets and mats, thus forming a kind of couch, and 
are never stepped upon except with shoeless feet. Visitors leave 
their shoes in the Durka'a. Along the walls are often placed cup- 
boards, richly decorated with inlaid work and majolica. The ceil- 
ings are generally tastefully ornamented. Adjoining the court there 
is usually another hall, situated a little above its level , adorned 

I lan I. 
Ground Floor 

1. Entrance of the House. 2. Seat (Mastaba) for the doorkeeper. 3. Cor- 
ridor. 4. Court. 5. A kind of bower (Muk'ad) in which visitors are re- 
ceived in summer. 6. Fountain. 7. Guest-chamber. 8. Servants' rooms 
9. Donkey-stable. 10. Saddle-room. 11. Room for fodder. 12. Door leading 
to the women's apartments (Bab el-Harim). 13. Staircase leading to the 
proprietor's apartments. 14. Principal saloon (el-Ka'a). 15. Khazneh. 
16. Small court. 17. Kitchen. 18. Bake-hous'e. 19. Privy. 



with a column , and open towards the north. This is called the 
Takhta Bosh , and is used in temperate weather for the same 
purposes as the Mandara. Lastly the Muk'ad (PI. 1, 5), where the 
proprietor receives visits in summer, is usually raised, like the 
Takhta Bosh , half the height of the ground-floor ahove the level 
of the court, and is adorned with several columns , while below it 
are small chambers used as store-rooms and for various other pur- 
poses, and frequently the well with its drawing apparatus. 

The principal part of the Harem (women's apartments), which 
in smaller houses is accessible from the court only by the Bab el- 
Harim (PI. I, 12; II, 3), is the Ka'a (PI. I. 14). The ceiling of 
the Durka'a is higher than that of the Liwan, and has a dome in 
the centre with mushrebiyeh openings. The walls of the Liwan are 

Plan 11. 
First Floor, 

1. Open hall (Takhta Bosh). 2. Cabinet. 3. Door of the Harem. 4. Rooms 

of the Harem with mushrebiyehs. 5. Magazine. (j. Open courts. 

7. Guest-chambers. 

frequently lined with rows of shelves, with valuable porcelain, 
crystal, or plate. In the larger houses a separate staircase for the 
women-servants ascends from the ground-floor to the upper stories. 
On its way it passes the intervening floor forming their dwelling, 
which is built over the less important rooms of the ground-floor. 


Another door usually leads direct from the apartments of the pro- 
prietor into the harem (PI. I, 3). At the hack of the building are 
kitchens and stables , and frequently a mill also. — In the 
country, and even at Cairo, the entrance-door is sometimes painted 
with very rude figures of camels , lions , steamboats , etc. , which 
are intended to indicate that the owner has performed the pil- 
grimage to Mecca (p. 148). 

X. The Arabic Language. 

Arabic belongs to the Semitic group of languages, and has no 
relationship with the tongues of Europe. A knowledge of Hebrew, 
however, will materially facilitate the learning of Arabic. The 
golden era of Arabic literature is coeval with the introduction of 
El-Islam , and the Koran in the dialect of the Kureish (the 
family of Mohammed) is still regarded as an unrivalled model of 
style and language. As El-Islam spread from its narrow home over 
the vast territories that gradually acknowledged the Crescent, Arabic 
lost many of its older and fuller forms and was greatly simplified 
for daily use. In this way arose the vulgar dialects of Arabic, of 
which that spoken in Egypt is one. In writing , however, an at- 
tempt was made to retain the older forms, and the written lan- 
guage of the present day, known as Middle Arabic, occupies a po- 
sition midway between the original classical tongue and the popular 
dialects. Egypt was conquered by the Arabs in the 19th year of 
the Hegira (640 A. D.) and the Coptic language was replaced by 
Arabic. The dialect of the latter developed in the valley of the 
Nile differs considerably in the pronunciation of the consonants, 
vocalisation, and accent from the ordinary Arabic dialects of Syria 
and elsewhere. Thus the letter -r is pronounced hard in Egypt and 
soft in Syria (see p. 190). The variations, however, are not so great 
as to prevent the Syrians and Egyptians being mutually intelligible. 

A sharply defined and exact pronunciation of the consonants is 
characteristic of Arabic and is absolutely essential to any satisfac- 
tory use of the language. The learner should endeavour at once to 
master the pronunciation of the more difficult Arabic consonants, 

such as £, _b, £, U* 3 , and I)" 3 , so as, for example, to be able 
to make a distinct difference between bet (house) and bed (eggs). 
Many of the sounds have no representatives in English. Owing to 
the increasing intercourse between the native Egyptians and Europe, 
the former have of late adopted many words from other languages, 
chiefly from Italian and French. Many Arabic words have, moreover, 
long since been replaced by Turkish equivalents. The Egyptian 
dialect also contains many Coptic or ancient Egyptian words. Very 
few Europeans learn to pronounce Arabic accurately, even after a 
residence of many years in the country. 


The language of the peasantry and the inhabitants of the de- 
sert is purer and more akin to the classical language than that of 
the dwellers in towns. The Muslims generally speak more correctly 
than the Christians, being accustomed to a refined diction and 
pronunciation from their daily repetition of passages of the Koran. 
The chief difference between the language of the Koran and the 
modern colloquial dialect is that a number of terminal inflexions 
are dropped in the latter. 

Alphabet. The Arabic alphabet was developed from that of the 
Nabatceans, who in turn adopted their written characters from the 
Palmyrenes. In spite of its external attractions, it is one of the 
most imperfect in existence. In written or printed Arabic the 
short vowels are usually omitted and have to be supplied by the 
reader, a feat which demands considerable skill and experience. In 
the Koran, however, the vowels are all indicated by appropriate 
signs. It is greatly to be wished that the Arabs would adopt a 
simpler alphabet, with a regular use of the vowel-signs, and that 
they would agree to write the ordinary spoken language. The pre- 
sent condition of affairs not only seriously increases a stranger's dif- 
ficulties in learning the language, but is a serious obstacle to the 
education of the Arabs themselves. 

We give below the sounds corresponding to the different letters, 
so far as it is possible to represent or describe them to the English 
reader. It should also be observed that in the following pages we 
use the vowel sounds of a, e, i, o, u as they are used in Italian (ah, 
eh, ee, o, oo). The e used in the Handbook is a contracted form of ei, 
and is used in preference to it, as it exactly represents the ordinary 
pronunciation (viz. that of a in fate). The original diphthong 
sound of ei is only used in the reading of the Koran and in a few 
isolated districts. Where a sound resembling the French u occurs 
it is represented by u (as in tutiiri). This system of transliteration 
will be found most convenient, as the words will then generally 
resemble the forms used in German, French, and Italian, instead 
of being distorted to suit the English pronunciation. Thus : errilr, 
which is pronounced 'aymeer' ; shekh (or sheikh) , pronounced 
'shake' (with a guttural k ) ; tulul , pronounced 'toolool' ; Abustr, 
pronounced 'Abooseer' ; etc. 

Vowbls. The short vowel symbols, Fathath, Kesrah, and Dum- 
meh (a, e, u), which are generally omitted, become long when con- 
nected with Alef, Wau, and Ye (a, e, *, 6, H, au). 

The numerous gutturals of Arabic render the language unpleas- 
ing to the ear. The consonants Nos. 15, 16, and 21, which are 
sometimes called 'emphatic', are very peculiar, and modify the 
vowels connected with them : thus after them a and u approach the 
sound of o, and i that of e . The sounds of the French u and eu 
(German ft and 5) are rare in colloquial Arabic. 





















Ze, Zgn 







c En 





























































accompanies an initial vowel , and is not 
pronounced except as a hiatus in the 
\ middle of a word. 

\ as in English. 

as th in 'thing', but generally pronounced t ors. 

I in Syria and Arabia like the French.;' (some- 
> times also like the English j), but pro- 
I nounced g (hard) in Egypt. 

a peculiar guttural h, pronounced with em- 
phasis at the back of the palate. 

like ch in the Scotch word -loch', or the 
harsh Swiss German ch. 

as in English. 

as th in 'the', but generally pronounced d or z. 
like the French or German r. 

as in English. 

emphasised s. 

both emphasised by pressing the tongue 
firmly against the palate. 

an emphatic z, now pronounced like No. 11 

or No. 15. 
a strong and very peculiar guttural. 

a guttural resembling a strong French or 

German r. 
as in English. 

emphasised guttural £, replaced by the na- 
tives of Lower Egypt, and particularly 
by the Cairenes, by a kind of hiatus or 
repression of the voice. 

as in English. 

Accentuation. If a word terminates with a long syllable 
ending in a consonant (indicated by a circumflex accent over the 


vowel), or with a syllable ending in a double consonant, the accent 
is placed on the last syllable (as in maghnatts, bddingan, aVmaz, 
ketebt, taghtdmm, each of which has the stress on the last syllable). 
If the last syllable has any other form, i. e. if it terminates in a vowel 
only, or in a consonant preceded by a short vowel, the accent in the 
case of a dissyllable is on the first syllable (as in gezmeh, burnus, 
fvrsha, redi), and in the case of a trisyllable or polysyllable on the 
third syllable from the end (as mdrmala, m&hbara, mddeneK), ex- 
cept when the penultimate is a long syllable (as in sibdnikh), in 
which case the accent is on that syllable. 

Address. The inhabitants of towns use the 2nd person plural in ad- 
dressing a person , or a periphrasis , such as gendbak (your honour), ha- 
dretak (your presence), or to a patriarch ghubtatkum, to a pasha sa'ddetak. 
Yd sidi (0 sir) is also frequently used, and to Europeans, ya khawdgeh. 

Possessives. These are expressed by means of affixes. Thus, binti, 
my daughter ; bintak (ik when the person addressed is feminine), thy 
daughter; bintii, his daughter; binthd, or bintahd, her daughter; bintiid 
or bintind, our daughter; bintkum or bintukum, your (pi. 1) daughter ; bin- 
tuhum, their daughter. The idea of possession is colloquially expressed 
by the use of the word beta' ('property 1 ), as el-'abd betd'i, my slave ('the 
slave my property'). 

Article. The definite article el or al is assimilated before dentals, 
sibilants, and the letters n and v. thus, esh-shems, the sun, etc. 

Demonstratives. In Egypt the word 'this 1 is rendered by de, fern. 
di; as er-rdgil de, this man; el-bint di, this girl. The Beduins use the 
old Arabic and Syrian hdda. 'These', ddl. 'That 1 , dikha, dukha, dukhauwa, 
dikhaiya; plural dukbamma. 

Relative : elli, omitted after substantives used in a general sense. 

Interrogatives. Who, min; what, eh, f$h. 

Declension. The substantive is not declinable. The genitive of a 
substantive is formed by simply placing it immediately after the sub- 
stantive to be qualified, the latter being deprived of its article: thus, 
ibn el-bdsha, the son of the pasha. The feminine terminations a, e, i are 
in such cases changed into at, et, it: thus mara, wife; mavat el-kddi, the 
wife of the judge. 

Dual. The dual termination is en, fem. eten: thus seneh , year; 
seneten, two years ; rigl, foot ; riglin, two feet. 

Pldral. In the masculine the termination is in (as felldhin, peas- 
ants); in the feminine dt (as hdra, town, quarter, etc., pi. hdi'dt). The 
plural is, however, usually formed by a radical change of the vowel 
sounds of the singular , the change being effected in thirty or forty dif- 
ferent ways, so that it becomes necessary for the learner to note carefully 
the plural form of every substantive: thus, 'ain, spring, pi. 'uyun; tdgir, 
merchant, pi. tuggdr ; gebel, mountain, pi. gibdl ; kabileh, tribe of Beduins, 
pi. kabdil. 

Verbs. Many of the verbs consist of slightly differing cognate roots, 
connected somewhat in the same manner as the English verbs lay and 
lie. Each verb consists of a perfect and present imperfect tense , an 
imperative, a participle, and an infinitive. 

The above remarks are made merely in order to afford a slight 
idea of the structure of the language . the difficulties of which are 
such that few persons will venture to encounter them, unless they 
make a prolonged stay in the country. We should, however, re- 
commend the traveller to commit to memory the following words 
and phrases of everyday occurrence, a knowledge of which will often 
prove useful. 



■ waked, fern. 

■ etnen, 
- teldteh, 

■ arba a, 
khamseh, - 






six — sitteh, 

seven — sab' a, 

eight — temdnyeh, 

nine — ■ tis'a, 

ten — 'ashara, 

11 — haddsher 

12 — etndsher 

13 — telatdsher 

14 — arbdtdsher 

15 — khamstdslier 

16 — sittdsher 

17 — sab'atdsher 

18 — temantdsher 

19 — tis'atdsher 

20 — ' ishrin 
30 — teldttn 
40 — arbdtn 
50 — khamsin 
60 — siUJn 
70 — sab' in 
80 — temdntn 
once — 

Arabic Vocabulary. 

wahdeh ; the first 

etnen ; 
teiut ; 
ar&a ,■ 
khams ; 
seb'a ; 
' asher ; 

the second 
the third 
the fourth 
the fifth 
the sixth 
the seventh 

— el-dwwel, fem. el- 

auwaleh or el-ula. 

— tdni, fem. tdniyeh 

— tdlet, 

— rdbi , 

— khdmis, 

— sddis, 

— sdbe , 

rdb' eh 
sdb' eh 
tds eh 

90 — tis'tn 

the eighth — tdmin, 
the ninth — tdse', 
the tenth — dshir, 

100 — mtyeh; before nouns, nut. 

200 — mltln 

300 — tultemtyeh 

400 — rub' amtyeh 

500 — khumsemiyeh 

600 — suttemtyeh 

700 — sub' amtyeh 

800 — tumnemlyeh 

900 — tus' amtyeh 

1000 — «*/■ 
2000 — aJ/en 
3000 — ieiat aiu/" 
4000 — arbd t aldf 
5000 — khamast aldf 
100,000 — mtt alf 
1,000,000 — milyun 

— marrn wahdeh, marra 
or noba 
twice — .- marraten 

thrice — teldt inarrdt 

four times — • arba' ma.rrdt 
five times — khams (khmnas) marrilt 
six times — sitt (sitteh) marrdt 
seven times — seb'a marrdt 
eight times — temdn marrdt 
nine times — tis a marrdt 
ten times — 'ashara marrdt 

The substantives following numerals above ten are used in the 
singular; thus : 4 piastres, arba' kurush ; 100 piastres, mtt kirsh. 

I, ana; thou, inteh, fem. enti; he, huweh ; she, hiyeh; we, ehna ; 
ye or you, entu, or entum ; they, /mm, or huma. 

Yes, ej/wa ; to be sure, na'am ; no, id ,• no, I will not, Id, mush 
'du%, or 'diz ; it is not necessary, mush lazim ; not, m« ; there is 
nothing, ma fish; 1 will, ana biddi ; wilt thou, biddak ; we will, 
biddina; will you, biddukum. 

a half 

— nuss 

a third 

— tult 

a fourth 

— rub' a 

three fourths 

— nuss u 

rub' a 

a fifth 

— khums 

a sixth 

— • - suds 

a seventh 

— ■ sub' eh 

an eighth 

— tumn 

a ninth 

— tus eh 

a tenth 

— 'ushr 


I go, ana rdih ; I shall go, ana artih ; we shall go, neruh ; go, 
ruh ; will you not go, ma teruh ; go ye, rUhu. 
See, shAf ; I have seen, shuft. 

I speak, betkallim ; I do not speak Arabic, ana ma betkallim- 
shi bil-'arabi ; what is your name, ismak e. 

I drink, bashrab ; I have drunk, ana shiribt ; drink, ishrab. 
I eat, anabdkul, or ana wdkil ; I have eaten, anakalt; eat, 
kul ; we will eat, biddina nakul. 

He sleeps, bindm ; he is now asleep, huweh ndim ; get up, kumu ; 
I am resting, besterih or bastaraiyah. 

I have ridden, rikibt ; I mount, barkab ; I will mount, arkab ; 
I start, ana besdfir, or musdfir. 

I am coming, ana gdi ; come, ta'dleh, ta'dla, or ta'dl. 
To-day, en-nahdr-deh ; to-morrow, bukra ; the day after to-mor- 
row, ba'deh bukra ; yesterday, embdreh ; the day before yesterday, 
auwel embdreh. 

Much or very, kefir ; a little, shuwaiyeh (shwaiyeh); good, tayyib ; 
not good, mush tayyib ; very good, tayyib kefir; slow, slower : shwaiyeh 
shwaiyeh, 'ala mahlak ; go on, yallah, yallah. 

How much, kam ; for how much, bikdm ; enough, bess ; how 
many hours, kam sd'a. 

For what purpose, min-shdn-eh or ' ala-shdn-eh ; no matter, ma 
'alesh. This last is a favourite expression with the Arabs, who use 
it to express indifference and also as an apologetic interjection. 

Everything, kull ; together, sawa, sawa ; every, kull waked ,• one 
after the other, wdhed, wdhed. 

Here, heneh (Syrian hon) ; come here, ta'dla heneh ; come from 
here, ta'dleh min heneh ; there, hendk (Syrian honik) • above, fok ; 
below, taht ; over, 'ala ; deep, ghamik, ghawit ; far, ba'id ,• near, 
kuraiyib ; inside, guwwa ; outside, barra ; where, fen (pronounced 
by the Beduins wen) ; yet, lissa ; not yet, ma lissa (with a verb) ; 
when, emta ; after, ba'd ; later, afterwards, ba'den ; never, abadan ; 
always, ddiman tamaUt ; perhaps, belki, yumkin, or yimkin. 

Old, kebtr, 'attk kadtm ; deceitful, khdin ; intoxicated, sakrdn ; 
blind, a'ma; stupid, awkward, ghashim ; lazy, kesldn; strange, 
ghartb ; healthy, sallm, sdgh saltm, tayyib, bis-sahha, or mabsut (also 
'contented') ; hungry, gi'dn ; small , sughayyar ; short, kusayyar ; 
long, tawtl ; untruthful, kadddb ; tired, ta'bdn ; satisfied, s'hab'dn ; 
weak, da'tf; dead, meyyit ; mad, magnun (Syrian mejnun) ; trust- 
worthy, arritn. 

Bitter, murr ; sour, hdmed; sweet, helu. 

Broad, 'arid; narrow, dayyik; large, 'aztm, kebtr; hot (weather), 
harr, (of food, etc.) sukhn; high, 'dli; empty, khdli, fddi ; new, 
gedid; low, wdti; bad, battdl; dirty, wusekh ; dear, ghdli. 

White, abyad; black, dark, iswid ,- red, ahmar; yellow, asfar ; 
blue, azrak; green, akhdar. 

Hour, sd'a; what o'clock is it, es-sd'a kam; it i3 3 o'clock, es- 
Baedekee's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 13 



ia'a teldteh ; it is half past 4, es-sd'a arba' unuss ; it is a quarter 
to 5, es-sd'a khamseh ilia rub'a. 

Forenoon, dahd; noon, duhr ; afternoon (2 ! /2 hours before sun- 
set), 'asr ,- night, lei ; midnight, nuss-el-lel. 

Sunday, ydm el-had , nehdr el-had ; Monday, yom el-etnen ; 
Tuesday, yom et-teldt ; Wednesday, yom el-arba' ; Thursday, 
yom el-khamts ; Friday, yom el-gum'a ; Saturday, or Sabbath, yom 
es-sebt. Yom or yum (day) is generally omitted. Week, gum'a ; 
month, shahr, pi. ushhur. 

Instead of the Arabic names of the months used in Syria, the 
Egyptians employ the Coptic (ancient Egyptian) names of the solar 
months, which, however, are always about nine days behind the 
European months. Each Coptic month has thirty days, and in 
order to complete the year five or six intercalary days are added at 
the end (in the beginning of September). The European names, 
however, are gradually coming into general use. 

























baramhdt barmddeh 
























Coptic | eblb 






The intercalary days (which come after Misra) are called ayyam en-nesi. 

The Muslim months form a lunar year only (comp. p. 149). 
TheiT names are: Moharrem, Safar, Rab? el-Awwel, Rabt' et-Tdni, 
Gemdd el-Awwel, Oemad et-Tdni, Regeb , Sha'bdn, Ramadan 
(month of fasting), Shawwdl, Dhil-Ki'de, Dhil-Higgeh (month of 
the pilgrimage). 

Winter, shita ; summer, sef; spring, rab V; autumn, kharlf; rain, 
matar ; snow, telg ; air, hawa. 

Heaven, sema; moon, kamar ; new moon, hildl; full moon, 
bedr ; sun, shems ; sunrise, tulu' esh-shems ; sunset, maghreb ; star, 
nigm, pi. nugum; constellation, kaukab. 

East, sherk ; west, gharb ; south, kibla ; southern, kibli, kubli ; 
north, shemdl. 

Father, ab, or, before genitives and affixes, abu ; mother, umm ; 


son, ibn, or weled, pi. uldd; daughter, bint, pi. bendt; grand- 
mother, gidda, or sitt ; brother, akh, before genitives and affixes 
akhu, pi. ikhwdn; sister, ukht, pi. ukhwdt; parents, ab u umm, 
or wdliden ; woman, mara, hurmeh ; women, harlm, niswdn ; boy, 
weled; youth, fellow, gada', pi. gid'dn; man, rdgel, pi. rigdle; per- 
son, insdn , pi. nds, or Sen* odam (sons of Adam) ; friend, habtb, 
sdheb, pi. ashdb ; neighbour, gar, pi. gtrdn ,- bride, 'arils ; bride- 
groom, 'arts ; wedding, 'urs. 

Cord for fastening the kuffiyeh, 'okdl; cloak, 'abdyeh; fez, 
tarbush ; felt cap, libdeh ; girdle, hezdm ; leathern girdle, kamar ; 
trousers (wide), shirwdl ; trousers (of women), shintydn ; European 
trousers, bantalun ; long white blouse, galabiyeh ; jacket, waistcoat, 
salta, 'anteri; dressing-gown, kuftan; coat (European), sitra ; 
skull-cap, taklyeh ; silk, hartr ; boot, gezma ; slipper, babUg ; shoe, 
markub, sarma ; wooden shoe, kabkdb ; stocking, shurdb ; turban, 

Eye, 'en, dual 'men ; beard , dakn, lehyeh ; foot, rigl, dual 
riglen ; hair, sha'r ; hand , yedd, id, dual tden ; my hands, ideyyeh ; 
right hand, yemin ; left hand, shemdl ; palm of the hand, keff ; fist, 
kabda; head, rds; mouth, fumm; moustache, sheneb. 

Diarrhoea, ishal ; fever, sukhuna, homma ; China, ktna; quinine, 
melhel-kina; opium, afiyun; pain, wag'a. 

Abraham, Ibrahim ; Gabriel, Oabridn, Gebratl, Oubrdn ; George, 
Oirgis; Jesus, Seyyidna 'Isa (the Mohammedan name), Yesu' 
el-Mesih (used by the Christians) ; John, Hanna ; Joseph , Yusuf, 
Yusef ; Mary, Maryam; Moses, Musa; Solomon, Selimdn,. Isle man. 

American, Amerikdni, Malekdni; Arabian, 'arabi; Arabs (no- 
mads), 'Arab ; Austria, Bildd Nemsa ; Austrian, Nemsdwi ; Beduin, 
Bedawi, pi. Bedwdn, 'Arab, 'Orbdn; Cairo, Masr, Medinet Masr; Con- 
stantinople, Istambul ; Egypt, Bildd Masr ; Egyptians (non-nomadic 
Arabs), Uldd'Arab; England, Bildd el-Ingiliz ; English, Ingiltzi, ; 
France, Feransa ; Frank (i. e. European), Ferangi, Afranki, pi. 
Afrank ; French, Feransdwi ; Germany, Alemdnia ; German, Ale- 
mani; Greece, Rum; Greek, Rumi; Italy, Bildd Italia; Russia, 
Bildd el-Moskof; Russian, Moskuwi, Moskufi ; Switzerland, Switzera ; 
Syria, Esh-Shdm; Turkish, Turki. 

Saint (Mohammedan), wali, weli ; St. George (Christian), Girgis 
el-kaddts, mar Girgis ; prophet, nebi, or (applied to Mohammed) 

Army, 'askar ; baker, khabbdz, farrdn ; barber, hallak, mozeyyin ; 
Beduin chief, shekh el- Arab ; bookseller, kutbi; butcher, gezzdr ; 
caller to prayer, mueddin (p. 147) ; consul, konsul ; consul's servant 
(gensdarme), kawwds; cook, tabbdkh; custom-house officer, gum- 
ruktshi ; doctor, hakim, plur. hukama; dragoman, turgemdn(j>. 13); 
gatekeeper, bawwdb ; goldsmith, sdigh ; judge, kadi ; money-changer, 
sarrdf; pilgrim (to Mecca), hagg (Syrian hdjji), plur. hegdg ; police, 
zabtiyeh ; porter, hammdl, sheyydl ; robber, hardmi, plur. hara- 



mtyeh ; scholar, 'diem, plur. 'ulama ; schoolmaster, fikih ; servant, 
khadddm ; soldier , 'askari ; tailor , kheyydt ; teacher , mo'allim ; 
village-chief, shekh el-beled ; washer , ghassdl ; watchman , ghaflr, 
plur. ghufara. 

Apricot, mishmish; banana, moz; beans (garden), ful, (lupins) 
litbiyeh ; citrons or lemons, Itmun ; cotton, kotn ; dates, baldh ; date- 
palm, nakhleh ; figs, tin ; flower (blossom), zahr, plur. azhdr ; garlic, 
turn ; grapes, 'unab, 'enab ; melons (water), battlkh, (yellow) kd- 
wun, shamdm ; olives, . ze tun; onions, basal; oranges, bortukan; 
peach, khokh (Syrian dorrdk) ; pistachios, fustuk; plums, berkuk 
(Syrian khukh) ; pomegranate, rummdn ; St. John's tree (carob), 
kharrub ; tree (shrub), shagara, plur. ashgdr. 

Brandy, 'araki ; bread , 'esh (Syrian khubz~) ■ bread , loaf of, 
raghif, plur. aghrifeh ; cigarette-paper , warakat sigdra ; coffee, 
kahwa; egg, bed, (boiled) bed masluk, (baked) b ed makli ; honey, 
'asal ; milk, leben, (fresh) leben haltb, (sour) leben hdmed ; oil, zet ; 
pepper, flfi ; poison, simm ; rice , ruz ; salt, melh ; sugar, sukkar ; 
water, moyeh ; wine, nebid. 

Book, kitdb, plur. kutub ; letter, gewdb, maktub. 

Carpet, siggdda, busdt ; chair (stool), kursi, plur. kerdsi ; gate, 
bob , bawwdba ; hospital, isbitdlia; house, bet, plur. biyut; minaret. 
mddana ; monastery , der , (of dervishes) tekiyeh ; mosque , garni' 
(or more Tarely mesgid) ; prayer-niche, mahrdb ; pulpit, mambar, 
mimbar ; room, oda; sofa, dlwdn ; straw-mat, hastra; table, sufra; 
tent, khema, plur. khiyam, (Beduins') 'eshsha, bet ; tent-peg, watad, 
plur. autdd ; tent-pole , 'amud ; tomb , kabr, plur. kubur ; window, 
shibbdk, plur. shebaklk, or tdlca. 

Bridle , ligdm ; candle , sham'a ; dagger, khangar ; glass (for 
drinking), kubdyeh; gun, bunduktyeh; gunpowder, bdrud; knife, 
sikklneh ; lantern, fdnus ; luggage, 'afsh ; pistol, tabanga, ferd ; rope, 
habl ; saddle, serg ; saddle-bag, khurg ; stick, 'asdyeh ; stirrup, rikdb, 
plur. rikdbdt; sword, sef. 

Bath (warm), hammdm ; cistern, 6Jr sahrig ; fountain (public), 
sebil; pond, birkeh. plur. birak; spring, 'ain, 'en. 

Charcoal, coal, fahm; Are, ndr; iron, hadtd; lead, rums; light, 
nur ; stone, hagar; timber, khashab ; wood for burning, hatab. 

Anchorage, mersa; harbour, rruna; island, geztreh; land, main- 
land, barr; Nile, bahr en-Nil, bahr; Nile-barge, dahabiyeh; pro- 
montory, rds ; river, nahr ; sea, bahr ; ship, merkeb, markab, plur. 
mardkib ; steamboat, wabur ; swamp, batiha, ghadir. 

Bridge, kantara ; castle, fortress, kal'a ; cavern, maghdra ; desert, 
hala, gebel ; district, native country, bilad ; earth, ard ; embank- 
ment, gisr; hill, tell, plur. tulul; market, silk, plur. aswdk; market- 
town, bandar; meadow, merger; mountain, gebel, plur. gibdl; 

+ The words merg and ghdba (forest) are almost unknown in Egypt, 
where neither meadows nor woods exist. 


palace, kasr, serdyeh ; plain, sahl, (low ground) wata ; road, tartk, 
darb, sikkeh, (main road, high road) tartk sultdni, (by-road) hdra, 
darb, sikkeh; ruin, kharaba, birbeh; school, (reading) kuttdb, (more 
advanced) medreseh, plur. maddris ; street, (main) shdri', (lane) 
zukdk ; thicket, ghet ; town (large), medtneh, plur. meddin ; valley, 
wadi; wood, ghdba; village, beled, kafr. 

Ass, homdr, plur. hamtr; bee, nahla; bird, per, plur. tii/tlr, 
(small) 'asfur, plur. 'asafir; hoar (wild), halluf; hug, bakka; camel, 
gemel, plur. gimdl, fem. nab ; camel for riding, /»e<7*n ; fowl, farkha, 
plur. ferdkh (used in Upper Egypt for 'young pigeons') ; cock, 
dlk ; dog, kelb, plur. fciidi ,• dove, hamdme ; duck , batt ; eagle, 
nisr; fish, semaka, plur. semafc; fleas, berdghit; fly, dubbdna; foal, 
ronftr ; gazelle, ghazdl ; hedgehog, kumfud ; hen, farruga (Syrian 
jejjeK) ; horse , hosdn, plur. feftei ; leech, 'alaka, plur. 'aiafc ; lizard, 
sehltyeh; louse, kamle; mare, faras; pig, khawur; pony, kedish; 
scorpion, 'akraba, plur. 'akdrib ; sheep, kharuf, fem. na'jra; snake, 
ia'ian, hayyeh; stallion, /oW, fto«an; tortoise, zihlifeh; turtle, 
Ursa; vulture, rakham. 

On Arrival. For how much will you take me ashore? (to the 
ship?) Tetalla'ni fll-barr bikdm? Tenezzilni fil-merkeb bikdm? 

For five francs, Bikhamas ferankat; bikhamseh ferank. 

Too much ; I will give you one. Ketir, a'dtk wdhed, bess. 

You shall take me alone ; or I will give you nothing. Tdkhudni 
(or tewaddini) wahdi, willa md ba'dlkshi hdgeh. 

There are three of us. Ehna teldteh. 

Four piastres each. Kullu wdhed bi arba' kurush. 

Put this box (these boxes) into the boat. Nezzil es-sandtlk-deh 
(es-sanadtk-dol) fil felAke. 

At the Custom-House (Oumruk). Open this box. Iftah es- 

I have nothing in it. Md fish hdgeh, md fihdsh hageh. 

Give me your passport.^ Hat et-tezkereh (bassdborto). 

Here is my passport. Aho el-bassdborto betd'i. 

I have no passport. Md 'andtsh tezkereh. 

I am under the protection of the English (American) consul. 
Ana ft hemdyet (or ana tahte) konsul el-Ingiltzi (el-AmerikdniJ. 

At a Cafe (p. 17). Boy, bring me a cup of coffee. Hat fingdn 
kahwa, ya weled (kahiea bisukkar, with sugar ; mingher sukkar, or 
sdde, without sugar). 

Bring me a chair. Hat kursi. Bring me water. Hdt li moyeh. 

Bring me a water-pipe. Hdt shtsheh (narglleh). 

Bring me a live coal. Hdt wil'a (bassat ndr, bassa). 


Change the pipe (i.e. bring a newly filled bowl). Gheyyar 

At the Bath (p. 21). Fil Hammam. Bring the wooden shoes. 
Hat el-kabkdb. — Take me in. Waddini guwwa. — Leave me for 
a little. Khallini shwaiyeh. — I do not perspire yet. Mdritsh 
'arkdn lissa. — Rub me well. Keyyisni tayyib (melth). — It is not 
necessary to rub me. Mush lazim tekeyyisni. — Wash me with soap. 
Ohassilni bisdbun. — Enough; it is sufficient. Bess ; yikeffi ; bikeffi. 
— Bring me cold water. Hat moyeh bdrideh. — Bring some more. 
Hat kamdn. — We will go out. Nitla' barra. — • Bring me a sheet 
(sheets). Hat futa (fuwat). — Bring me water, coffee, a nargileh. 
Hat moyeh, kahwa, nargileh. — Where are my clothes? Fen hu- 
dumi; hudumi fen? — Bring my boots. Hat el-gezmeh. — Here 
is your fee. Khud baksliishak ; ddi el-baksMsh betd'ak. 

Washing. Take the clothes to "be washed. Waddi el-hud&m 
lil-ghasil. (The articles should be counted in the presence of the 
washerman.) — How much does the washing cost? Kam (kdddi e) 
temen el-ghasil? 

On the Journey. When will you start ? Emta tesdferu ? — 
We will start to-morrow at sunrise. Nesdfer bukra, ma'ash shems ; 
an hour before sunrise , sa 'a kabl esh-shems ; two hours after sun- 
rise , sd'eten ba'd esh-shems. — Do not come too late. Md tit'akh- 
kharshe. — Is everything ready ? Kull she hdder ? — Pack ; load 
(the camel). Sheyyilu; sheddu. — Hold the stirrup. Imsik er-rikdb. 

— Wait a little. Istanna (istenna) shwaiyeh. 

What is the name of thisvillage, mountain, valley, tree, spring? 
E (or esh~) ism el-beled de ; or el-beled-de ismo £ (el-gebel, wddi, 
shegara, 'en)? 

We will rest, breakfast. Nestereyyah (nisterih) , niftar. — Is 
there good water there (on the way) ? Ft mdyeh tayyiba ( fiddarb) ? 

— Where is the spring? Fen el-' en? — Keep at a little distance. 
Khalllk ba'td 'anni. — Bring the dinner. Hat el-akl, ettabikh, el- 
ghada. — Take away the dinner. Shil el-akl. 

Stop. Vkaf, 'andak. — Go on. Yalla. — Where are you going 
to? Enta rdih fen? — Where do you come from? Gdi min en ? 

Shall we go straight on? NerUhdughri? — Straight on. Dughri, 
dughri. — Turn to the left. Hawwud 'ala shmdlak. 

Do not be afraid of me. Md tkhafsh minni. — What am I to 
do ? Weana md It? — I will have nothing to do with it ; it does not 
concern me. Ana md 11. — What are we to do? Esh el-'amal; 
na'mel e? 


sir, a gift. Bakshish , yd khawdgeh ! — • There is nothing for 
you ; he off. Mdflsh; ruh ! 

Open the door. Iftah el-bdb. — Shut the door. Ikfil el-bdb. — 
Sweep out the room, and sprinkle it. Iknus (iknis) el-6deh u 
rushshaha. A 

We will eat. 'Auzin ndkul. — Cook me a fowl. Itbukhli farkha. 
■ — Clean this glass well. Naddef tayyib el-kubaiyeh-di. — Give me 
some water to drink. Iskini, idtni moiyeh. 

At a Shop (see p. 24). "What do you want? What are you 
seeking? 'Auz I? 'Aiz t? — What may it cost? Bikdm deh? Deh 
bikdm ? — What does this cost (what is it worth) ? Ryiswa kam ? 
— That is dear, very dear. Deh ghdli , ghdli ketlr. — Cheap, sir. 
Rakhis , yd stdi. — No, it won't do. La, ma yisahhish. — Yield a 
little. Ztd shwaiyeh. — Give the money. Hat el- fills. — Change 
me a piece of gold. Isrif li-yineh. — For how much will you take 
the gold piece? Tdkhod el-gineh bikdm? 

Salutations and Phrases. Health (peace) he with you. Es- 
saldm 'alikum. Answer : And with you he peace and God's mercy 
and blessing. V 'alikum es-saldm warahmet Allah wa barakdtu. 
These greetings are used by Muslims to each other. A Muslim 
greets a Christian with — Thy day he happy. Nehdrak sa'ld. 
Answer : Thy day be happy, blessed. Nehdrak sa'tda wemubdrak 

Good morning. Sabdhkum bil-kher, or sabdh el-kher. Answer : 
God grant you a good morning. Allah isabbehkum bil-kher. 

Good evening. Misdkum bil-kher, ot mestkum, bil-kher. Answer: 
God vouchsafe you a good evening. Allah yimesslkum bil-khir ; or 
messdkum Allah bil-kher. — May thy night be happy. Leltak sa'ideh. 
Answer : Leltak sa'ideh we mubdraka. 

On visiting or meeting a person , the first question after the 
usual salutations is : How is your health ? Ezeiyak , or kef hdlak 
(kef klfak) ? Thanks are first expressed for the enquiry : God bless 
thee ; God preserve thee. Allah yibdrek fik ; Allah yihfazak. 
Then follows the answer : Well , thank God. El-hamdu lilldh, 
tayyib. — The Beduins and peasants sometimes ask the same 
question a dozen times. 

After a person has drunk , it is usual for [his friends to raise 
their hands to their heads and say: May it agree with you, sir. 
Hant'an, yd stdi. Answer : God grant it may agree with thee. 
Allah yehannik. 

On handing anything to a person : Take it. Khud (Syrian 
ddnak). Answer : God increase your goods. Kattar Allah khtrak, 
or kettar kherak. Reply : And thy goods also. Vkherak. (This form 
of expressing thanks, however, will not often be heard by the 


ordinary traveller, as the natives are too apt to regard gifts 
presented to them by Europeans as their right.) 

On leaving : Good bye. 'Al Allah. Or : To God's protection. Ft 
amdn Illdh. Or : Now let us go on. Jalla bina. — Generally speak- 
ing, the person leaving says nothing, unless when about to start on 
a long journey, in which case he says : Peace be with you. Ma'as- 

On the route : Welcome. Ahlan wasahlan, or marhaba. Answer: 
Twice welcome. Marhabten. 

I beg you (to enter, to eat, to take something). Tafaddal 
(tefaddal, itfaddal) ; fern tafadddli (itfadddli); plur. tafadddlu 
(itfadddlu, tefadddlu). — Will you not join us (in eating)? Bis- 
millati (literally 'in God's name'). Answer : May it agree with you, 
Bilhdna. A 

Take care ; beware. Vka (u'a) ; fern, ilki (xCi). 

I am under your protection ; save me. Fa'rdak (ft'ardak). — 
My house is thy house. Bett betak (p. 24) — Be so good. Emel 

What God pleases ('happens', understood). Mdshallah (an 
exclamation of surprise). — As God pleases. Inshallah. — By 
God. Wallah, or walldhi. — By thy head. Wahydl rdsak. — By 
the life of the prophet. Wahydt en-nebi. — God forbid. Istaghfir 
Allah ! 

XL Works on Egypt. 

The traveller who desires more than a mere superficial acquain- 
tance with the land of the Pharaohs, the history of which is the 
most ancient and in some respects the most interesting in the 
world, should of course before leaving home read some of the 
standard works on the subject, and also select a number of others 
for reference or entertainment during the journey. This is all the 
more necessary if the traveller is entirely ignorant of the ancient 
and modern languages of the country, in which case he will find it 
difficult, if not impossible, to institute independent enquiries as 
to its manners, literature, and art. From the appended list, which 
might easily be extended, the traveller may make a selection in 
accordance with his individual taste. Those indicated by asterisks 
are among the most indispensable. 

Before enumerating the works which most English travellers 
will read, we may mention a few of the leading foreign authorities 
on Egypt. Foremost among these are Lepsius's 'Denkmaler aus 
jEgypten und ^Ethiopien', Champollion's 'Monuments de l'figypte 
et de la Nubie', Rosellini's 'Monumenti dell' Egitto e della Nubia', 
and the 'Description de l'figypte' published by the members of the 
French expedition. Schnaase, Kugler, Liibke, Erbkam, and Reber 
have written valuable works on the history of Egyptian art ; Forskal, 


Schenk, Unger, Schweinfurth, Ascherson, and Boissier, on botany ; 
and Biehm, Hartmann, Fraas, Pruner, and Klunzinger on natural 
history and medicine. 

"With regard to the Greek and Roman writers on Egypt, see 
p. 344. The Arabian historians are mere chroniclers, who narrate 
a series of facts and traditions, and are entirely deficient in method 
and the faculty of criticism. The following are the most important 
writers on the general history of Egypt : — El-Mas'&di (&. 956), 
of Fostat; Ibn el-Athlr (d. 1232), of Mossul in Syria; Ibn Khaldun 
(d. 1406), one of the most learned of Arabian authors, a philo- 
sophical historian, and chiefly famous for the preface to his history, 
which was printed at Bulak, in four volumes, in 1868 ; Abulfidd 
(A. 1331), prince of Hama in Syria. The following are authors of 
important works on limited epochs of Egyptian history and of 
valuable descriptive works: — El-Makrizi (&.. 1442, at Cairo), the 
author of a geographical, physical, historical, and political de- 
scription of Egypt, and of Cairo in particular, printed at Bulak in 
1854 ; Abul-Mahasin (&. 1469), the author of a detailed history of 
Egypt from the Arabian conquest neaTly down to the time of his 
death ; Es-Siyuti (A. 1506), of Siut in Upper Egypt ; El-Manufi 
(d. 1624) ; Abu Shdma (d. 1224), who wrote the history of Nureddin 
and Salaheddin ; Bahaeddln (d. 1234), who for many years was a 
follower of Saladin; ' Abdellatif (A. 1232), a physician at Baghdad, 
the author of a very important and interesting description of Egypt. 

Historical, Desceiptive, and Scientific Woeks. 
Birch, Dr. S., Egypt, down to B.C. 300; London, 1875. 
"Birch, Dr. 8., Sir Gardner Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians ; London, 

"Brugsch, Histoire d'Egypte, 2nd ed. ; Leipzig, 1874. 
"Brugsch, L'Exode et les Monuments Egyptiens ; Leipzig, 1875. 
Bunsen, Egypt's Place in Universal History; London, 1867. 
Ebers, Egypt, Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque, translated from 

the German by Clara Bell and furnished with notes by Dr. Sam. Birch ; 

800 illustrations ; London, 1882. 
"Lane, Modern Egyptians; new ed., London, 1871. 
Leon, E. de, The Khedive's Egypt, London, 1877. 
"Lepsius, Letters from Egypt, ^Ethiopia, etc. ; London, 1852. 
Mariette, Apercu de l'Histoire Ancienne d'Egypte ; Paris, 1867. 
Mariette, Monuments of Upper Egypt ; London, 1877. 
Maspero, Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de l'Orient; Paris, 1875. 
"M>Coan, Egypt as it is; London, 1877. 

Merval, Du Barry de, Architecture Egyptienne ; Paris, 1873. 
Osburn, Monumental History of Egypt ; London, 1854. 
Palmer, Egyptian Chronicles ; London, 1861. 
Paton. Egyptian Revolution, from the Period of the Mamelukes to the 

death of Mohammed 'AH ; London, 1870. 
Perring, The Pyramids of Gizeh; London, 1839. 
Perrot & Chipiez, History of Art in Ancient Egypt, translated from the 

French by W. Armstrong; London, 1883. 
Poole, Egypt, in Sampson Low's series of manuals of Foreign Countries. 
Records of the Past, Translations of Egyptian inscriptions by Dr. Birch 

and others. 
Rikart, Carl von, Menes and Cheops identified in History; London, 1869. 


Sharpe, History of Egypt; new ed., London, 18T6 (most useful for the 

Ptolemeean, Roman, and Byzantine periods). 
Sharpe, Hieroglyphics ; London, 1861. 
Shelly, Handbook of the Birds of Egypt; London, 1872. 
Vyse, The Pyramids of Gizeh ; London, 1840. 
Vyse, Egypt, Political, Financial, and Strategical. 
Wallace, Egypt and the Egyptian Question; London, 1883. 
Wilkinson , Sir Gardner, The Ancient Egyptians (new edition by Dr. 

Birch, see above). 
Zincke, Egypt of the Pharaohs and the Khedive ; London, 1873. 

Works of a more Popular Character, and Works of Fiction. 
About, Le Fellah; Paris, 1869. 
Arabian Nights, by Lane; London, 1841. The learned editor is of 

opinion that these popular tales were written in 1474-1525, being 

based mainly on earlier traditions, that they were probably compiled 

by an Egyptian, and that they afford an admirable picture of Arabian, 

and particularly of Egyptian, life at that period. 
Bovet, Egypt, Palestine, and Phoenicia, translated from the French by 

Canon Lyttleton; London, 1883. 
Cooke, Leaves from my Sketchbook ; Second Series ; London, 1876. 
Curtis, Nile Notes of a Howadji, or The American in Egypt. 
Ebers , Series of novels on Egyptian subjects , all of which have been 

translated into English. 
Eden, The Nile without a Dragoman; London, 1871. 
Fleming, A Nile Novel; London, 1877. 

-Gordon, Lady Duff, Letters from Egypt; London, 1866, 1875. 
-Kingsley, Hypatia; London, 1863. 
Leland, Egyptian Sketchbook; London, 1873. 
Moore, The Epicurean ; London, 1864. 
Poole, Englishwoman in Egypt; London, 1844-48. 
Poole, Cities of Egypt ; London, 1883. 
Smith, A. C, The Nile and its Banks ; London, 1868. 
Werner, Carl, Nile Sketches; London, 1871-72. 
Whately, M. L., Ragged Life in Egypt; new ed., London, 1869. 
Whalely, M. L., Among the Huts in Egypt; 3rd ed., London, 1873. 
Whately, M. L., Scenes from Life in Cairo; London, 1882. 
Wilson, Erasmus, F. R. <S., Cleopatra's Needle, with Brief Notes on 

Egypt and Egyptian Obelisks ; London, 1877. 

Olograph. Anatatt Ton. 

Wagner * Debts, Lripiiff. 

1. Alexandria. 

Arrival. The perfectly flat N.E. coast of Egypt, and even Alexandria 
itself, are not visible to the steamboat passenger until very shortly be- 
fore the vessel enters the harbour. We first observe the lighthouse ris- 
ing conspicuously above the flat and colourless line of the coast, and 
then a row of windmills, light-coloured buildings, and the smoke of the 
steamboats in the harbour. On a hill to the left rises the chateau of the 
Khedive at Bamleh (p. 222), and on the coast, to the right, at the be- 
ginning of the entrance to the harbour, we perceive the so-called Bdb 
el-' Arab (Beduin Gate), the extremity of a line of fortifications extending 
between the sea and Lake Mareotis (p. 223). It was this western harbour 
only, the Eunostos, or harbour of those 'returning home in safety' of 
the Greeks, that European vessels were formerly permitted to enter, 
while they were rigorously excluded from the 'Great Harbour' on the 
E. side , which was described by Strabo (p. 208) , and is now errone- 
ously called the 'New Harbour'. The latter, which Mohammed 'AH 
attempted again to utilise, but found too much choked up with sand, is 
now chiefly used by fishing-boats, but larger vessels sometimes enter it 
when compelled by stress of weather. 

Before passing Bab el- r Arab the steamer takes a pilot on board and 
is steered by him through a narrow, shallow, and rocky channel (Bdghaz) 
into the harbour. As the passage can only be effected by daylight, 
vessels arriving in the evening must ride at anchor outside until next 
morning. On the coast, to the right, we observe the grotesque half- 
ruined Chdteau of Melts (p. 221), with its numerous domes and slender 
towers. It was erected by the viceroy Sa r id Pasha (p. 107), who used to 

Plan of Alexandria. 

1. Arsenal . . . D, 2 
Railway Stations. 

2. For Rosetta, Cairo, 
and Suez . . . G, 5 

3. For Ramleh. . H, 3 

4. Bains de Turin. F, 5 
4a. Banque Imperiale 

Ottomane . . F, 4 

Steamboat Offices. 

5. Egyptian Mail 

Steamers . . . E, 3 
G. Fraissinet & Co. G 

7. Austrian Lloyd . G, 4 

8. Messageries Mari- 

times . . . . F, 4 

9. Peninsular and 

Oriental Co. . F, 4 

10. Rubattino &Co. F,G,4 

11. Russian Steamers F,4 


12. American . . . G, 4 
31. Belgian. . . . F, 4 

14. Danish . . . . F, 3 

15. German . . . G, 4 

16. British 

17. French . 
17a. Greek 

18. Italian . 

19. Dutch . 

20. Austrian 

21. Russian 

22. Swedish 

23. German Club 

. G,4 
. G,4 
. G, 4 
. G,4 
. F, 4 
. G,4 
. G, 4 
. G,4 
F, 4 

24. Custom House D, E, 3 

25. English. . . . F, 4 

26. Armenian . . . F, 5 

27. Coptic . . . . G, 4 

28. Greek Cath. . . F, 4 

29. Greek Orthodox F, 4 

30. St. Catherine 

(Rom. Cath.). . F, 4 

31. Lazarist . . . F, 4 

32. Maronite . . . F, 3 

33. Presbyterian . . F, 3 

34. Protestant. . . F, 3 

35. Equestrian Statue 

of Mohammed 'AH F,4 

36. Palais Zizinia . F, 3 

37. Pompey's Column E,6 

38. Porte de la Colonne 
Pompee, or du Nil F,5 

39. Porte de Moharrem 
Bey G, 5 

40. — de Rosette . K, 4 

41. Egypt. Post OfficeF,3 

42. Quarantine . A, B, 7 

43. Ras et-Tin, Palace 
B 1 2 

44. Roman Tower . H, 3 

45. Telegraph Office, 
Egyptian . . F, 4 

46. — British . F, G, 4 


47. Rossini . . . . F, 3 

48. Zizinia. . . . G, 4 

49. Politeama . . F, 4 

50. Tribunal 

F, 4 


a. H. Khe'divial . . G, 4 

b. — Abbat. . . . F, 4 

S. Synagogues 

G, 4 

204 Route I. ALEXANDRIA. Arrival. 

reside here, surrounded by his army, for a considerable part of the year. 
The older palace, to the left, on the prominent Rds et-Tin (cape of figs, 
p. 219), and the Arsenal are comparatively uninteresting, especially as 
the busy harbour itself now engrosses the whole attention. The steamer 
is soon surrounded by numerous small boats , the occupants of which 
proffer their services with animated gesticulations. As soon as the brief 
sanitary inspection is over, the boatmen swarm wildly on deck like a 
piratical crew, eager to secure a fare, and reminding the traveller of a 
scene from Meyerbeer's Africaine. In the midst of this bustle and eon- 
fusion the following Arabic words may be found useful : — ta'dl, come ; 
shtff, look here ; mush 'duzak, I don't want you ; mush Ideim, it is not 
necessary ; imshi or rtih, begone. A supply of half-franc pieces and sous 
should be kept in readiness for the occasion. 

Having sufficiently surveyed the novel and picturesque scene, the 
traveller engages a boatman to convey him and his luggage ashore , or, 
especially if ladies are of the party (see below), he gets one of the hotel 
agents to manage everything for him. Before leaving the vessel he should 
keep a watchful eye on his luggage, and see that the whole of it is placed 
in the boat which he himself is going to use. As soon as the boat is 
clear of the steamer the Arab hoists his sail, for he never rows unless 
absolutely obliged, and steers for the custom-house. Any importunity as 
to the fare may be simply answered with — Hayyib, yalla, yalla" (all 
right, make haste). 

On reaching the landing-stage of the Custom-House (PI. 24), the trav- 
eller is first conducted to the passport-office (to the left, in the passage), 
and gives up his passport, which is afterwards restored to him at the 
consulate at Alexandria, or he may have it sent after him to Cairo. 

Meanwhile the luggage has been landed, and the traveller, if alone, 
and with ordinary luggage, pays the boatman 2>/2-3 fr., or for 2 persons 
4-5 fr., and for each additional person 1 fr. more. The porter who carries 
the luggage into the custom-house and afterwards to a cab expects 25c. 
for each package. All these rates of payment are amply remunerative, 
but 'bakshish' (p. 16) is invariably asked for, and the word will resound 
in the traveller's ears throughout the whole of his journeyings in the 
East, and even long afterwards. 

The custom-house examination is generally pretty rigorous, the ar- 
ticles chiefly sought for being tobacco, weapons, and diamonds. No fee 
need be given to the officials. 

As already observed, it is preferable, especially when ladies are of 
the party , to secure the services of one of the hotel agents , who re- 
lieves the traveller of all trouble, pays boatmen and porters, and assists 
in clearing luggage at the custom-house. In addition to his outlay, he 
receives a fee of 2>/2fr. from a single traveller, or more in proportion 
for a party. The principal hotels now send their own boats to meet 
the steamers. The traveller who wishes to ensure a comfortable 
disembarkation may write beforehand to the hotel at which he means 
to put up, and desire a commissionnaire, a boat, and a carriage to meet 
him. The usual charge in this case for a party of three persons is : — 
boat from the steamer to the custom-house 5fr., luggage-boat 2 fr., porter 
and fee to custom-house officers 2fr. 75c, carriage to the hotel 4'/2fr., 
carriage of luggage 2fr., or 16fr. 25c. in all. 

At the egress of the custom-house a noisy and importunate crowd 
of carriage-drivers and donkey-boys lies in wait for new-comers. Neither 
walking nor riding is recommended to the traveller on his first arrival, 
and he had better drive straight to his hotel. Carriage to the hotels 
( 3 /4 M.l 2V2fr., or for 3-4 persons 3-4fr. ; donkey V2 f r. ; porter for each 
large package '/afr. 

Hotels. (It may again be remarked here that all the hotels in the 
East charge a fixed sum per day for board and lodging, exclusive of 
liquors , whether the traveller takes his meals in the house or not.) 
'Hotel Khedivial (PI. a; G, 4), near the Cairo station, in the finest part 
of the town, with good cuisine; -Hotel Abbat (PI. b; F, 4), in the Place 
de l'Eglise, well situated. — Second class : Hotel Canal de Suez, behind 

Consulates. ALEXANDRIA. /. Route. 205 

the Palais Zizinia, close to the Place Mehe'met-Ali, with good cuisine ; 
Hotel des Voyageurs, in the street which leads from the statue in the 
Place Mehe'met-Ali to the sea; Hotel des Etkangeks, Eue Mosqude Atta- 
rine (PI. F, 4). 

Cafe (comp. p. 17), in the European style : Paradiso, Eue de la Poste 
Francaise, on the coast. 'Cafe noir, in the European style, or 'cafe' fort' 
in the Arabian, 2 piastres current (25 c.) per cup. — Beer. Brasserie Fran- 
caise, next door to the Hotel des Voyageurs ; Brasserie Sphinx, Mauri/, Rup- 
nik, in a side-street near the Palais Zizinia; Stern, Place de l'Eglise (PI. 

F, 4); also at the Cafe' Paradiso (see above). 

Baths. European: at the HStel Abbat (see above); Bains de Turin 
(PI. 4 ; F, 5), Rue de la Colonne Pompee. Arabian (comp. p. 21) : the best 
are in the Rue Ras-et-Tin, opposite the Zabtiyeh (police-office). Sea Baths 
in the Port Neuf. 

Clubs. The Deutsche Verein (PI. 23), Rue de la Mosquee d'Atarine, 
has a good reading-room , to which admission is obtainable through a 
member. The Club Mohammed 'Ali resembles the Club Khe'divial at Cairo 
(p. 234). 

Cabs (in the European style). There is a tariff, but the Arab drivers 
invariably ignore it. The fare for a short drive in the town, without 
luggage, is on ordinary days 50c; to the steamboats, see above; to the 
railway station, see p. 223. Per hour, during the day, 2fr., but more on 
holidays, when the demand is greater. After the first hour each additional 
half-hour only should be charged for. Drives beyond the fortifications 
according to bargain. The usual charge for a whole day, in which case 
also a bargain should be made, is 20-25 fr. 

Donkeys (comp. p. 11). Per ride of 'A hr. 50 c. ; per hour IV2 fr. ; 
longer excursions according to bargain; whole day 5-6 fr. 

Commissionnaires (p. 13) , who are useful when time is limited, 
abound. They charge 5-7 fr. per day, but the fee should be fixed before- 
hand. Most of them offer to escort the traveller to Cairo and even up 
the Nile ; but such proposals should be disregarded, as the best dragomans 
are always to be found at Cairo in winter. For the mere journey to 
Cairo, and for the ascent of the Nile by steamer, no dragoman is ne- 
cessary. On arriving at the Cairo station (p. 231) travellers are met by 
the commissionnaires of the principal hotels, so that the services of any 
other attendant are unnecessary. 

Post Office (PI. 41; F, 3), open from 7 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., except for an 
hour after noon. Letter-boxes at the hotels and in several of the streets. 
France and Austria have post-offices of their own, but these will soon be 
closed, as Egypt has now joined the Postal Union. 

Telegraph Office (PI. 45 ; F, 4). The rate for telegrams within Egypt 
is 5 piastres tariff per ten words. — English Telegraph Office (PI. 46; F, G,4). 
The English wires may not be used for inland telegrams. 

Consulates (comp. p. 6). British (PI. 16 ; G, 4), Boul. de Ramie 1 : consul- 
general, Sir Evelyn Baring; vice-consul, Mr. Cookson. — American (PI. 12; 

G, 4), St. Mark's Buildings, Place Mehemet-Ali: consul-general, Mr. Pomeroy; 
consul, Baron de Menasci. — French (PI. 17; G, 4), Place Mehemet-Ali: 
consul-general, M. Barrere ; consul, M. Monge. — German (PI. 15 ; G,4), Rue de 
la Porte Rosette : Hr. v. Derenthall ; vice-consul, Dr. Michadelles. — Austrian 
(PI. 20; G, 4), Rue de la Mosquee d'Atarine: Hr. v. Hoffenfels, consul-gene- 
ral; Hr. Osiller, consul. — Italian (PI. 18; G, 4), Boul. Ismail: Sign. Martino; vice-consul, Sign. Machiavelli. — Belgian (PI. 13; F,4),Okella 
Dimitri, Rue de la Porte Rosette : Baron de Vinck, consul-general ; M. Fran- 
quet, consul. — Dutch (PI. 19; F. 4), Rue de la Citerne-du-Four 31 : Hr. Van 
der Does de Willebois. — Russian (PI. 21; G, 4), Rue de l'Obelisque 97: M. 
de Hitrovo; vice-consul, M. Svilarich. — Spanish, Sen. de Ortega Morejon. 
— Swedish (PI. 22; G, 4), Boulevard de Ramie: M. Heidenstamm, consul- 
general; Mr. Barker, vice-consul. — Danish (PI. 14; F, 3), Okella Dum- 
reicher: M. de Dumreicher. — Greek (PI. 17a; G, 4); M. Byzantios, consul- 
general; M. Buf fides, consul. 

Steamboat Offices (fares, etc., see p. 10). Peninsular <i- Oriental Co. 

206 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. Churches. 

(PI. 9; F, 4); Messageries Maritimes (PI. 8; F, 4); Austrian Lloyd (PI. 7; 
G, 4); Florio-Rubatlino & Co., Italian (PI. 10; G, 4); Fraissinet & Co., French 
(PI. 6; G, 4); Russian Steamers (PI. 11; G, 4) ; Egyptian Postal Steamers 
(PI. 5; E, 3); all in or near the Place Mdhemet-Ali. 

Railway Stations. The station for Cairo (p. 223), Suez (p. 414), and 
Roselta (p. 449) is outside the Porte Moharrem Bey, l fo M. from the Place 
Mehemet-Ali (PI. 2 ; G, 5). The station for Ramleh (PI. 3 ; H, 3) is at the 
Port Neuf. 

Booksellers. The Stationers <fc Booksellers Co. (formerly Robertson), 
St. Mark's Buildings, Place Mehemet-Ali, chiefly for English books ; Li- 
brairie de la Bourse or Exchange Stationery Co., adjoining the Exchange 
(large stock of photographs). — Several Newspapebs (in French, English, 
and Italian) are published at Alexandria. 

Bankers. Banque Impiriale Ottomane (PI. 4 a), which has branches 
throughout the whole of the Turkish dominions ; Bank of Egypt, Rue 
Mehemet-Tewfik ; Anglo-Egyptian Banking Co., Rue Cherif Pacha ; Franco- 
Egyptienne, Boulevard de Ramie ; Bank of Alexandria, Rue Cherif Pacha ; 
Cridit Lyonnais, Rue Cherif Pacha. 

Physicians. Dr. Mackie, Dr. Waller, and Finney Bey, English; Dr. 
Varenhorst Bey, Dr. Kulp, Dr. Schiess, Dr. Wallher (skin and ear diseases), 
German; Dr. Neruzzos Bey, Dr. Kartullis, Greek; Dr. Zancarot. Dentist, 
Dr. Love. All the addresses may be obtained at the apothecary Hubert 
(see below). 

Chemist. Otto Huber, Rue Cherif Pacha. 

Hospitals. The Deaconnesses^ Institute, Avenue de Moharrem Bey, is 
an admirable establishment, which may be commended to the liberality 
of travellers. European Hospital, Boulevard Ismail Pacha ; Egyptian Hos- 
pital & Foundling Asylum, near the Ramleh station; Greek Hospital. 

Shops for all kinds of European articles are to be found in the Place 
Mehemet-Ali. Cordier, St. Mark's Buildings, near the English Church ; 
Chalons, near Cordier; A la Ville de Paris, below the Deutsche Verein 
(p. 205); Camoin. Ready-made clothing: Meyer <£• Co., Stein, Ooldenberg, 
all in the Place Mehemet-Ali. The Arabian bazaar presents no attraction. 

Churches. English (PI. 25), Place Mehemet-Ali, Rev. E. J. Davis; 
service on Sundays at 11 and 3 o'clock. — Presbyterian (PI. 33), Rev. Mr. 
Kean ; service at 11. — Protestant Church (PI. 34), a handsome new building 
in the Rue de l'Eglise Anglaise ; German and French service on alternate 
Sundays at 10. — Roman Catholic: St. Catherine (PI. 30) and Lazarist 
Church (PI. 31). — Greek Orthodox (PI. 29). — Greek Catholic (PI. 28). — Ar- 
menian (PI. 26). — Maronite (PI. 32). — Coptic (PI. 27). — Several Synagogues, 
the largest of which is near the Ramleh Station, and the handsomest in 
the Rue de l'Okelle Neuve, 46. 

At Alexandria there are eight different Freemasons' Lodges, which, 
however, possess two buildings only, called the Loge des Pyramides or 
English Lodge (Boul. Ismail) and the Scotch Lodge (Okella Ueuve, Place 

Theatres. The large Zizinia Theatre (PI. 48 ; G, 4), in the Rue de la Porte 
Rosette, opposite the German Consulate, is frequently closed, even in win- 
ter. — Italian operas are given in the Politeama (PI. 49), a wooden build- 
ing, elegantly fitted up, opposite the Italian Consulate (also used as a 
circus). — Italian plays, and occasionally operas, are performed in the 
small Rossini Theatre (PI. 47; F, 3), Rue d'Anastasi. 

Disposition of Time. Unless the traveller desires to visit all the 
points of historical interest at Alexandria, he may easily, by taking a 
carriage, inspect the town with its few relics of antiquity in half-a-day ; 
or a whole day will be required if the drive be extended to the new quays 
at Meks (p. 221) and along the Mahmudiyeh Canal. Those who have 
never seen an Oriental town will be interested in observing the street 
scenes and the picturesque faces and costumes ; but to travellers return- 
ing home Alexandria presents an almost European appearance, and is un- 
attractive. Starting from the Place Mehemet-Ali (p. 218), we may first 
ride or drive to Pompet/s Column (p. 218). We then return to the Place 
Mehemet-Ali and traverse the long Rue Rds-et-Tin to the palace of that 

History. ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 207 

name, after which we may drive to the new Quays at Meks (p. 221). If 
time permits, a drive may also be taken (best in the afternoon) along 
the MahmUdiyeh Canal to the Palace Number Three (Nimreh Telateh) and the 
public gardens of Oinenet en-Nuzha (p. 220), both situated on the canal. 

History. Alexandria was founded in B.C. 332 by Alexander 
the Great, forming a magnificent and lasting memorial of his Egyp- 
tian campaign. With the foundation of the city are associated a 
number of legends to the effect that the coast, opposite the island 
of Pharos, was specially pointed out by divine omens to the Mace- 
donian monarch as a suitable site for the foundation of a new 
seaport. t In the time of Alexander there were several harbours on 
the N. coast of Egypt. The most important were those of Naucratis, 
at the W. (Canopio) mouth of the Nile, chiefly used by Greek vessels 
after the 26th Dynasty (p. 92), and Tanis and Pelusium on the 
N.E. side of the Delta, at the two embouchures bearing the same 
names , to which Egyptian and Phoenician vessels only seem to 
have been admitted. Alexander, who had overthrown the barriers 
which had hitherto separated the nations dwelling on the E. 
shores of the Mediterranean, conceived the plan of founding a 
new and splendid seaport town in Egypt, both to facilitate the 
flow of Egypt's wealth towards Greece and the Archipelago, and 
to connect the venerable kingdom of the Pharaohs with that 
widely extended Greek empire which it was his great ambition 
to found. The site chosen by the king was not, however, an 
entirely new one. On the coast opposite the island of Pharos 
(p. 208), as we learn from the monuments, had long stood the 
Egyptian village of Rhakotis, where, as Strabo records, a guard 
was posted to ensure the safety of the frontier. It seems strange 
at first sight that the new seaport should have been founded at 
the W. extremity of the coast of the Delta instead of on the old 
harbour of Pelusium at the E. end , which lay close to the Red Sea 
and to the caravan route between Egypt and Syria, and might easily 
have been extended so as to suit Alexander's requirements. The 
fact is, however, that the far-seeing founder really made a most 
judicious choice ; for it has been recently ascertained that a current 
in the Mediterranean, beginning at the Strait of Gibraltar, washes 
the whole of the N. African coast, and, when it meets the waters of 
the Nile, it carries the vast deposits of the river towards the E. , and 

t A venerable old man is said to have appeared to the king in a dream 
and to have repeated to him the following lines from Homer (Od. iv. 54, 55) : 

'One of the islands lies in the far-foaming waves of the sea, 

Opposite Egypt's river, and its name is Pharos". 
The following incident was also regarded as a favourable omen. As Dino- 
crates, the king's architect, was marking out the plan of the town and 
the sites of the principal buildings , the white earth used for the pur- 
pose ran short, and he supplied its place with the flour belonging to his 
workmen. The flour soon attracted numerous birds, by which it was 
speedily devoured, whereupon Aristander pronounced this incident to be a 
prognostication of the future wealth and commercial prosperity of the city. 

208 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. Topography of 

has thus filled the old harbour of Pelusium with mud. The action 
of this current also endangers the new harbour (Port Sa'id, p. 436), 
and on its way towards the N. it has already choked up the famous 
ancient ports of Ascalon, Sidon, and Tyre. Even Herodotus 
remarked that the Nile mud rendered the water shallow off the 
coast of the Delta ; and it was doubtless a knowledge of these 
circumstances which led to the selection of a site for the city of 
Alexander on the W. side of the mouths of the Nile. 

Topography of Ancient Alexandria. The site selected for the new 
city, which the able architect Dinocrates laid out in the form of a 
Macedonian cloak (chlamys), was in every respect a favourable one. 
On the N. side it was washed by the Mediterranean, and on the S. side 
by Lake Mareotis, which was abundantly fed by numerous canals connected 
with the Nile. The products of Egypt could be brought down by the 
river to the city, and thence at once snipped to any part of the Mediter- 
ranean. The island of Pharos lay opposite to the mainland. 'Now Pharos', 
says Strabo (B.C. 66-24; Bk. xvii. c. 1, §6), who describes Alexandria in 
the 17th Book of his Geography, 'is a long-shaped island, almost connected 
with the mainland, where it forms a harbour with two entrances. For 
the two promontories thrown out by the shore form a bay, and between 
these lies the island by which the bay is closed. . . . The E. end of the 
island of Pharos is nearest to the mainland and to the promontory called 
Lochias, and makes the entrance to the harbour narrow. This strait is 
further narrowed by rocks, partly covered by the water, and partly above 
the water, which cause the waves of the sea to break into surf as they 
enter. The extremity of the island itself is also a rock washed by the 
sea, bearing a tower beautifully constructed of white stone with many 
stories, and named after the island. This tower was erected by Sostratus 
of Cnidus'. — The tower mentioned by Strabo was the famous lighthouse 
built in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphia, which was regarded by the 
ancients as one of the wonders of the world , and gave its name of 
'Pharos 1 to all lighthouses afterwards erected. It bore the inscription: 
'Sostratos, the Cnidian , son of Dexiphanes, to the gods who protect 
mariners'. It is said by an Arabian historian to have stood at the E. 
end of the peninsula now called Burg ez-Zefer ; and he describes its ruins 
as consisting of a square substructure 110 ells in height, an octagonal 
second story of 60 ells, and a round superstructure of 63 ells, or 233 ells 
in all, while its original height is said to have been 400 ells (590 ft.). 

'The W. entrance to the harbour', continues Strabo (ib., § 6), 'is also 
somewhat difficult of access, but does not demand so great caution as the 
other. It forms a second harbour, called Eunostusi (or 'harbour of the 
happy return'), which lies outside of the artificial and enclosed harbour. 
The other , which has its entrance by the already mentioned tower of 
Pharos, is the Great Harbour (comp. p. 203). The others are separated 
from it by an embankment called the Heptasladium, and lie contiguous 
to each other in the recess of the bay. The embankment forms a bridge 
which extends from the mainland to the western part of the island, and has 
two passages, bridged over, and leading into the harbour of Eunostus. This 
structure, besides forming abridge to the island, served also as an aqueduct 
when the island was inhabited. But, as it took the side of the kings in 
the war against Alexandria, the island was laid waste by the divine Caesar.' 

The Heptastadium , a vast embankment of seven stadia in length 
(1400 yds.), as its name imports, was constructed by Ptolemy Soter, or his 
son Philadelphus ; and having since that period been artificially enlarged 
by debris from the ancient city, thrown into the sea, as well as by 
natural deposits, it has now attained a width of more than 1600 yds. The 

t This is the 'Old Port' which is almost exclusively used at the 
present day, and where a number of handsome new buildings are being 
erected (comp. p. 203}. 

Ancient Alexandria. ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 209 

embankment now forms the site of a great part of the modern city, and 
on its W. side is situated the Custom House, where the traveller first sets 
foot on Egyptian soil. 

'To the right of the entrance to the Great Harbour', Strabo then goes 
on to say (ib., § 9), 'lies the island with the tower of Pharos, and on the 
side are the rocks and the promontory of Lochias + , on which stands a 
royal castle. To the left of persons entering are the inner royal build- 
ings connected with Lochias, which comprise painted saloons and groves. 
Below these lies an artificial harbour, appropriated to the kings, and 
closed , and opposite to it is the small island of Antirrhodus , with a 
royal castle and another small harbour. The island was so named from 
being, as it were, a rival of Rhodes. Above it lies the theatre. Beyond 
this is the Poseidium , a curved promontory which runs out from the 
Emporium (or market-place), and to which Antony added an embankment 
projecting still more towards the middle of the harbour. At the end of 
this embankment he erected a royal residence which he called Timonium. 
This was his last work, when after his defeat at Actium, deserted by his 
friends , he crossed to Alexandria and determined for a time to lead the 
life of a Timon (or misanthrope). . . . Next follows the Csesarium (or Temple 
of Csesar), with the market-place and warehouses. Such are the surroundings 
of the Great Harbour. (§ 10) Immediately beyond the Heptastadium is 
the harbour of Eunostus, and above it the artificial harbour, sometimes 
called Cibotus (literally, the box), which also has docks. From this 
harbour runs a navigable canal to Lake Mareotis\ 

Among the Principal Quarters of the ancient city we may first 
mention the Necropolis, or city of the dead, at the extreme W. end, 
'where there are many gardens, tombs, and establishments for embalming 
bodies' (Strabo , xvii. 10) , and Rhakotis , 'the quarter of Alexandria 
situated above the ships' magazines' (Strabo , xvii. 6) , the most ancient 
part of the city, and chiefly inhabited by Egyptians. The Bruchium 
quarter, which was walled in, and contained the palaces and public 
buildings, lay on the mainland between Lochias and the Heptastadium, 
while the Jews' quarter was situated to the E. of Lochias, between the 
sea and the main street, the E. end of which was closed by the Canopic 
gate. Outside the gate lay the hippodrome, and farther to the E. was 
the suburb of Nicopolis , 30 stadia from Alexandria , which possessed an 
amphitheatre and a race-course, and where the quinquennial games were 
celebrated (Strabo, xvii. c. 1, § 10). 

With regard to the Streets of ancient Alexandria, Strabo (ib. § 8) 
has the following passage: 'The whole town, indeed, is intersected with 
streets practicable for waggons and riders, but the two broadest of them 
are more than a hundred feet in width and cross each other at a right 
angle.' — This statement has been confirmed and supplemented by the 
excavations of Mahmud-Bey , who has discovered traces of a rectangular 
network of streets, seven of them running lengthwise, from W.S.W. to 
E.N.E., and twelve breadthwise, from N.N.W. to S.S.E. He has also 
identified the two main streets mentioned by Strabo, the more important 
of which probably coincided with the modern Rue de la Porte Rosette, 
beginning at the Gate of Rosetta , the ancient Canopic gate, intersecting 
the town, and at its W. end deviating from the straight line. This street 
is still the most important in the town, and it is probably indebted for 
its long existence to the conduit constructed under it at an early period, 
which still supplies the cisterns with Nile water. Of the buildings which 
once flanked this street a few relics only now exist, but the excavations 
have brought to light distinct traces of the old pavement, which consisted 
of blocks of granite, and have established the fact that the street was 
about 45 ft. in width, or double that of the other streets. On each side 
of the causeway ran foot-pavements with arcades, of which, however, 
the traces are but scanty. — The important cross-street mentioned by 
Strabo has been discovered by Mahmud-Bey on the E. side of the town. 

t Now much reduced in extent, owing to the dilapidation of the 
breakwaters and the damage done by earthquakes. 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. \\ 

210 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. Topography of 

Here, between two causeways, each 20 ft. in width, he found a deep band 
of soil, on which probably grew a row of trees ; and this street was also 
provided with a water-conduit. The side-streets, which were 23 ft. in 
width only, were generally about 300 yds. apart. 

Of the Principal Buildings of ancient Alexandria the relics are now 
so scanty that it is impossible to determine the character of the edifices 
to which they belonged. (With regard to the so-called Cleopatra's Needle 
and Pompey's Pillar, see pp. 218, 222.) The locality least free from doubt 
is the site of the Paneum, which according to Strabo (ib., § 10) was 'an 
artificial circular mound, resembling a rocky hill, to which a winding 
way ascends. From its summit one can survey the whole of the sur- 
rounding town in every direction'. This spot is doubtless identical with 
the modern Kom ed-Dik, the highest ground in the town, 112 ft. in height, 
where the reservoir of the waterworks (p. 216) is now situated. 

The Gymnasium, according to Prof. Kiepert, who has m'eutely examined 
the plans of Mahmud-Bey, and not the Sema and Museum , occupied the 
site of the old German consulate and its garden. 'The most beautiful 
building, however,' says Strabo (ib., § 8), 'is the Gymnasium, with its 
colonnades, which are more than a stadium in length. In the middle lie 
the courts of justice and groves'. 

The theatre, the Sema or Soma, and the Museum were situated 
in the quarter of the Royal Palaces (p. 209), which belonged to the 
Bruchium (p. 209), and occupied 'a fourth or even a third part of the 
whole extent of the city' (ib., § 8). This quarter must have lain to the 
N. of the great street leading to the Canopic Gate , and to the S. of 
Lochias, and must have adjoined the harbour and 'all that lay beyond it'. 
The Alexandrian Theatre lay opposite the island of Antirrhodus (p. 209), 
in accordance with the custom that obtained at Greek seaports of placing 
theatres where they could command a view of the sea. Speaking 
of the Sema, Strabo (ib., § 8) describes it as 'another part of the royal 
buildings , an enclosed space , within which are the tombs of the kings 
and that of Alexander. For Ptolemy Lagi had taken away the body of 
the latter from Perdiccas , who had brought it from Babylon. . . . Now 
Ptolemy brought the body of Alexander to Alexandria and buried it where 
it now lies, though not in the same coffin. The present coffin is of hyalus 
(glass or alabaster), but the former was of gold, which was carried 
off by Ptolemy .... surnamed Parisactus, son of Cocees' (probably Pto- 
lemy XI. Alexander I.). — A sarcophagus carried off by the French, and 
afterwards captured by the English and deposited in the British Museum, 
was once supposed to be that of Alexander, but, when the hieroglyphics 
upon it were deciphered, they were found to have no reference to him. 

The Museum, like the Sema, belonged to the quarter of the royal 
palaces , and probably stood on the spot where some huge ruins , since 
described by Brugsch, were discovered in 1853 when a Greek school was 
being built. These ruins lay on the S. side of the Place Mehemet-Ali and 
to the W. of Cleopatra's Needle, a site which would correspond with the 
quarter of the palaces. The library undoubtedly was connected with the 
Museum , and it is noteworthy that among these ruins a hollowed stone 
was found bearing the inscription, 'Dioskorides, 3 vols.', though it can 
hardly have been used as a receptacle for scrolls. From these walls, now 
buried beneath the earth , once flowed a copious stream of knowledge, 
the benefits of which continue to be traceable even at the present day. 
According to Strabo (ib., §8), the Museum contained 'a hall for walking, 
another for sitting, and a large building with the dining-room of the 
scholars residing at the Museum. The society also possesses revenues in 
common, and the Museum is presided over by a priest, formerly appointed 
by the kings , but now by the emperor'. This 'hall for walking' was an 
extensive court shaded with trees and provided with fountains and benches, 
while the hall for sitting was used for purposes of business and study. 
The latter was a covered colonnade, closed on one side, where the scholars 
assembled, and where their pupils, thirsting for knowledge, listened to 
the precepts of their masters. Like all the Egyptian dining-halls, that of 
the Museum probably had a flat roof, a polished pavement, and a balustrade 

Ancient Alexandria. ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 211 

of short columns around it. The members of the Museum were arranged 
at their repasts according to the schools to which they belonged (Aristote- 
lians, Platonists, Stoics). Each department elected a president, and the body 
of presidents formed a council, whose deliberations were presided over by 
the 'neutral' priest appointed by government. With the vast and artistically 
embellished buildings of the Museum various other important establishments 
were connected, chief among which was doubtless the library, with copying 
and binding rooms, where the manuscripts were reproduced, adapted for 
use, and fitted with rollers and cases. Besides the revenues enjoyed by the 
Museum in its corporate capacity, a yearly salary was paid to each member 
from the time of Philadelphus downwards. Parthey estimates the members 
in the time of the first Ptolemies at one hundred at least, but it was 
probably much smaller at a later period. The Alexandrian School was 
chiefly celebrated for its distinguished professors of the exact sciences, 
including geography, astronomy, mathematics, mechanics, natural history, 
medicine, and anatomy. Among its most celebrated scholars were Eratos- 
thenes and Strabo, the geographers; Hipparchus and Ptolemseus, the 
astronomers ; Archimedes, the mechanician ; Euclid, the founder of geo- 
metry; and Herophilus and Erasistratus, the anatomists. The branch of 
learning most successfully cultivated by the members of the Museum, 
however, was grammar, or philology, as it would now be called. 'The 
task of transmitting to posterity in a pure form the whole of the knowledge 
and intellectual creations of an earlier period may perhaps be regarded 
as the noblest aim of philology, and this task was most ably performed 
by the philologists of Alexandria. It is to their critical labours that we 
owe the preservation of the Greek literature , which has exercised so 
great an influence on the culture of the West and on modern history gener- 
ally'. In these words Parthey sums up the result of the labours of the 
Alexandrian scholars, whose individual merits we cannot here discuss. 

The chief Library at Alexandria , the nucleus of which consisted of 
the library left by Aristotle, belonged to the Museum, having been founded 
by Ptolemy Lagi with the assistance of Demetrius Phalereus. It was 
arranged in the reign of Philadelphus, and rendered accessible by being 
placed in the Museum. Zenodotus, Callimachus, and Eratosthenes were 
the first librarians. Callimachus provided the scrolls with titles. As to 
the number of volumes in the library our chief source of information is 
a scholium on Plautus, with Ritschl's commentary. In the time of Ptolemy 
Philadelphus the number was about 400,000, which, by deducting duplicates, 
was reduced to 90,000. In Csesar's time, when the library was burned, 
the number had probably risen to about 900,000. The Pergamenian 
collection of books, which Antony presented to Cleopatra, contained 200,000 
scrolls. These treasures , collected in one place and easily accessible, 
enabled the members of the Museum to pursue the studies most congenial 
to them. A second library was placed in the apartments of the Serapeum. 

The site of the Serapeum, or great temple of Serapis, which Strabo 
mentions very briefly, may be approximately determined by the fact that 
it must have stood near Pompey's Pillar. The god to whom it was 
dedicated was introduced by the Ptolemies , in order that both Greeks 
and Egyptians might have a deity recognised by both, who might be 
worshipped in common. Ptolemy Soter is said to have caused the image 
of the god to be sent from Sinope on the Pontus, the inhabitants of which 
were most unwilling to part with it. At length, after three years, the 
colossus is said himself to have entered the vessel and by a miracle to 
have arrived at Alexandria in three days. To the Greeks he was introduced 
as Pluto, while the Egyptian priests called him Osiris-Apis. They both 
regarded him as the god of the infernal regions , and as the Greeks 
associated him with Pluto, the Egyptians connected him with Ptah. The 
introduction of the new god was the more easily accomplished as it was 
favoured by the priesthood of both nations, their well-intentioned object 
being to attract worshippers of different races to the same shrine, and, 
at one spot at least, to blend the religious sentiments of the Greeks and 
Africans. After his arrival in Egypt Serapis was of course transformed 
into an entirely new divinity, and his rites were remodelled so as to suit 


212 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. History. 

the Greek, and more particularly the Egyptian, forms of worship. The 
place where the Apis bull was chiefly worshipped down to a very late 
period is ascertained to have been Memphis (p. 372). The Temple of 
Serapis, when completed, is said to have been surpassed in grandeur by 
no other building in the world except the Roman Capitol. It lay to the 
W . of Alexandria , in the suburb of Rhakotis , and not far from the 
Necropolis, on an eminence ascended on one side by a carriage-road and 
and on the other by a flight of steps, widening towards the top and leading 
to a platform with a vaulted roof borne by four columns. Beyond this 
were colonnades containing chambers set apart for the worship of the 
god, and a number of lofty saloons which at the time of Philadelphus con- 
tained a library of 42,000 vols. This collection was afterwards much enlarg- 
ed, and is said to have comprised 300,000 vols, at a later period. There were 
also numerous subterranean chambers, used for various purposes, and a 
number of dependencies , as at the Serapeum of Memphis (p. 383). The 
interior of the colonnades was enriched with extraordinary magnificence. 
The walls were richly painted, and the ceilings and capitals of the col- 
umns gilded. Within the sanctuary stood the statue of the god, which 
probably consisted of a wooden figure overlaid with various precious metals. 
An opening ingeniously introduced in the sanctuary admitted rays of light 
falling on the mouth of the idol, 'as if kissing him'. Most of the extant 
images of Serapis are of dark stone. That of Alexandria, which is some- 
times said to have consisted of emerald, was probably coloured dark blue. 
On its head was the calathos, and at its feet lay Cerberus, with the heads 
of a wolf, a lion, and a dog, around which was entwined a serpent. 

After Alexander's death, when his empire was divided among 
his generals, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus(p. 96), eame into possession 
of Egypt, and Alexandria became his capital. The population of 
the city increased greatly, and it attracted a large number of Jewish 
settlers, to whom Ptolemy assigned a suburb on the coast, towards 
the E. During his wise and upright reign Alexandria became a great 
resort of artists and scholars, including Demetrius Phalereus, the 
orator (p. 211). Apelles and Antiphilus, the painters, Euclid, the 
mathematician, and Erasistratus and Herophilus, the physicians, 
in whose society the king spent much of his time. A history of 
Alexander the Great written by Ptolemy himself has unfortunately 
been lost. Under his successor, Ptolemy II. Philadelphus (p. 96), 
the Museum (p. 210) attained its highest prosperity. Among its 
distinguished members were Sosibius and Zoilus, the grammarians ; 
Strato, the natural philosopher; Timochares and Aristarchus, the 
astronomers; Apollodorus, the physician; Hegesias, the philosopher ; 
Zenodotus, Theocritus, Callimachus, and Philetas, the poets ; and 
the versatile Timon. It was about this period that the Old Testament 
was translated from Hebrew into Greek, the new version being 
called the Septuagint from the tradition that seventy translators 
were engaged in the work. Under Ptolemy III. Euergetes (p. 96), 
Aristophanes of Byzantium, the grammarian and critic, became the 
director of the Museum, while the mathematical school was super- 
intended by Eratosthenes of Cyrene, the founder of the science of 
mathematical geography. At this period Alexandria was also the 
residence of the orator Lycon of Troas, of the poets Apollonius, the 
.Rhodian, and Lycophron, and of the great astronomer Conon. Not- 
withstanding the continual dissensions among the Ptolemies with 

History. ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 213 

regard to the succession to the throne (p. 96), which seriously 
disturbed the peace of the city, the fame of Alexandria, as the 
greatest centre of commerce in the world and the chief seat of Greek 
learning, steadily increased , and in B.C. 48, when the Romans 
interfered in the quarrels of Cleopatra VII. and her husband and 
brother Ptolemy XIV. , had reached its zenith. After the murder of 
Pompey at Pelusium, Caesar entered Alexandria in triumph (p. 98), 
but was attacked by the citizens and the army of Ptolemy XIV., and 
had considerable difficulty in maintaining himself in the Bruchium 
(p. 209). During the siege of the city occurred the irreparable 
calamity of the burning of the Great Library of the Museum, but it 
was afterwards to some extent replaced by the Pergamenian col- 
lection, presented to Cleopatra by Antony. Caesar was afterwards 
conquered by the charms of the Egyptian queen, but Antony fell 
more fatally into her toils, and spent years of revelry with her at 
Alexandria (comp. p. 98). Augustus treated Alexandria with cle- 
mency, and enlarged it by the addition of the suburb of Nicopolis 
on the E. side of the city. 

Under the successors of Augustus, Alexandria was almost un- 
interruptedly the scene of sanguinary civil dissensions , caused 
chiefly by the Jews, who in the reign of Tiberius constituted one- 
third of the whole population. In A.D. 69 Vespasian was proclaimed 
emperor by the Alexandrians, his election having been to a great 
extent due to the influence of the philosophers Dion, Euphrates, 
Apollonius of Tyana, and others then resident at the Museum. 
Under the following emperors also the sciences continued to flourish 
at Alexandria. In the reign of Hadrian, Valerius Pollio and his son 
Diodorus, and Apollonius Dyscolus, the grammarians, Ptolemy 
Chennus , the mythographer, Appian, the historian, and Claudius 
Ptolemy, the astronomer , lived at Alexandria ; and. the emperor 
himself, who visited the city twice, held public disputations with 
the professors at the Museum. In A.D. 176 Marcus Aurelius came 
to Alexandria for the purpose of quelling an insurrection, but treated 
the citizens with great leniency, and attended the lectures of the 
grammarians Athenaeus, Harpocration, Hephsestion, Julius Pollux, 
and others. Lucian also lived at Alexandria at this period, in the 
capacity of secretary to the prefect of Egypt. In the reign of Marcus 
Aurelius the Temple of Serapis was burned down, but the library 
escaped without injury, and the temple was soon rebuilt. In 199 
Severus visited Alexandria, and established a senate and a new 
municipal constitution. The visit of Caracalla, whom the citizens 
had previously derided, was fraught with disaster. Having attracted 
the whole of the male population capable of bearing arms to one 
spot, he caused them to be massacred in cold blood. He closed the 
theatres and the public schools, and to prevent future rebellions 
he caused a wall fortified with towers to be erected between the 
Bruchium and the rest of the city. 

214 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. History. 

The first great persecution of the Christians, which took place 
in the reign of Decius (250), was a terrible blow to the Alexandrians. 
The city had for a considerable time been the seat of a bishop, and 
had since 190 possessed a theological school, presided over by 
Pantsenus and at the beginning of the 3rd cent, by Clement of 
Alexandria, who endeavoured to combine Christianity with the 
Neo-Platonism which sprang up about this period at Alexandria 
and was taught by Ammonius Saccas, Herennius, Plotinus, Por- 
phyrins, Jamblichus, and others. A second persecution took place 
in257, duringthe reign of Valerian; and shortly afterwards, in the 
reign of Gallienus, the plague carried off a large portion of the 
population. The incessant revolts which broke out in Alexandria 
and other parts of Egypt led repeatedly to the elevation of usurpers 
and rival emperors to the throne. Thus, Firmus was proclaimed 
emperor at Alexandria as a rival of Aurelian, and Probus owed the 
purple mainly to the Egyptian legions. The Alexandrians after- 
wards revolted against Diocletian and declared themselves in favour 
of Achilleus ; but Diocletian besieged the city, took it by storm, 
and chastised the inhabitants with great severity. 

Christianity, however, still continued to gain ground, and Al- 
exandria was even regarded as the chief seat of Christian erudition 
and of the orthodox faith. The dogmatic dissensions between Arius, 
who filled the office of presbyter, and Athanasius, who afterwards 
became a bishop, at length broke out, and were fraught with dis- 
astrous consequences. Alexandria was also soon obliged to yield to 
Constantinople its proud position as the centre of Greek thought 
and science. The sanguinary quarrels between the Athanasian 
party and the Arians under their unworthy bishop Georgius further 
contributed to the rapid decline of the city. On the accession of 
Julian to the purple the pagans of Alexandria again instituted a 
persecution of the Christians, and Georgius became one of their 
victims. In the reign of Theodosius, however, paganism received its 
deathblow, and Theophilus, the patriarch of Alexandria, displayed 
the utmost zeal in destroying the heathen temples and monuments. 
The famous statue of Serapis was broken in pieces and burned in 
the amphitheatre amidst shouts of derision from a Christian crowd. 
The material prosperity of the city also fell off so greatly, that the 
municipality was no longer able to defray the cost of cleansing the 
Nile and keeping the canals open. After the death of Theophilus 
(in 413) the revenues of Alexandria were still farther diminished by 
the proceedings of the new patriarch Cyril, who led the armed mob 
against the synagogues and expelled the Jews from the city ; and 
in 415 the learned and beautiful heathen Hypatia, daughter of the 
mathematician Theon, was cruelly murdered by an infuriated crowd. 

The reigns of Marcian, Leo I., and Justinian were also signalised 
by new revolts, chiefly occasioned by religious dissensions. Under 
Justinian all the still existing heathen schools were finally closed, 

History. ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 215 

and the few scholars of any eminence who had remained till then 
weTe obliged to leave the place. A new insurrection which broke 
out in the reign of Phocas was attended with greater success than 
previous Tevolts, for Heraclius, whom the Alexandrians now pro- 
claimed emperor, contrived in 610 to maintain his possession of 
the purple. The sway of the Eastern emperors in Egypt, however, 
soon came to an end. In 619 Alexandria was captured by Chosroes, 
King of Persia, but the Christians were left unmolested. Ten years 
later Heraclius succeeded in recovering possession of Egypt, but 
the troops of the Khalif r Omar soon afterwards invaded the country 
and took Alexandria after a prolonged siege. In December, 641, 
'Amr Ibn el- Asi, 'Omar's general, entered the city; but by order 
of his master, he treated the inhabitants with moderation. The 
decline of Alexandria now became still more marked, and about 
this period 'Amr founded Fostat (p. 241), as a new capital and seat 
of government, free from Christian influences. The new town, 
which gradually developed itself into the modern Cairo, soon 
became an important and prosperous place at the expense of the 
famous ancient Greek city. During the middle ages Alexandria 
sank into insignificance. Its commerce received a deathblow by 
the discovery of the sea-route to India round the Cape of Good 
Hope, and the discovery of America entailed new losses. After the 
conquest of Egypt by the Turks (iu 1517) the city languished under 
the infamous re'gime of the Mamelukes, the harbours became choked 
with sand, the population, which had once numbered half a million 
souls, dwindled down to 5000, and the environs were converted 
into a sterile and marshy wilderness. With regard to the history of 
the French invasion, see p. 105. 

The decay of the once powerful seaport was at length effectually 
arrested by the vigorous hand of Mohammed 'Ali, who improved 
the harbours and constructed several canals. The chief benetit he 
conferred on Alexandria was the construction of the Mahmudiyeh 
Canal, which was so named after the reigning Sultan Mahmud. 
By means of this channel fresh water was conducted to the town 
from the Rosetta branch of the Nile, the adjoining fields were irri- 
gated anew, and Alexandria was again connected with the Nile and 
the rest of Egypt, the products of which had long found their only 
outlets through the Rosetta and Damietta mouths of the river. The 
enterprising pasha began the work in 1819, employing no fewer 
than 250,000 labourers, and completed it at a cost of 7 ] /2 million 
francs. He also improved the whole canal-system of the Delta, the 
works being chiefly superintended by th£ aged and eminent Linant 
de Belleville-Pasha, general director of public works, and other 
French engineers. The subsequent viceroys have also made great 
efforts to improve the prospects of the town ; and the Egyptian 
cotton-trade, which received a strong impulse from the American 
war, and found its chief outlet through Alexandria, has proved a 

216 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. Population. 

source of great profit to the citizens. Several regular steamboat 
services and two telegraphic cables now connect Alexandria with 
Europe, while it communicates with the rest of Egypt by river, 
railway, and telegraph. The town suffered severely during Arabi's 
rising in 1882 , and a great part of the European quarter was laid 
in ashes by the fanatical natives. Owing to the continued state of 
political uncertainty and the delay of the Egyptian government to 
pay an indemnity, little has been done to repair the mischief, and 
the spirit of enterprise seems for the time being completely lamed. 

Gas and Watek. The city was provided with gas in 1865, and is also 
now well supplied with water. The old cisterns, the number of which 
is said still to exceed a thousand , and the situation of which enables us 
to determine the direction of the ancient streets, have been superseded 
by the modern waterworks, completed in 1860, which are supplied by the 
Moharrem-Bey Canal, a branch of the Mahmudiyeh Canal. The reservoir, 
into which the water is pumped by steam , after having been filtered, 
is situated on the top of the Kom ed-Dik hill, the site of the Paneum 
of antiquity (p. 210), and is capable of containing 10,000 cubic metres of 
water (about 360,000 cubic feet). The water-rate per cubic metre (36 
cubic feet) is now 1 fr. only, while for the same quantity the old water- 
carriers used to receive 2fr. 25 c. 

Hapboues (comp. pp. 203, 208). The maritime traffic of Alexandria 
is of ci 'siderable importance, although it is said to have decreased since 
the opening of the Suez Canal. The port is entered annually by about 
2000 vessels. In 1883, which was commercially a somewhat dull year, 
the value of the imports was 7,500,000i., of the exports 12,150,000;., the 
former paying 135,000*. and the latter 520,000!. of duty. The most im- 
portant export is cotton, of which 2'/2-2 3 A million cwt. are annually dis- 
patched. Next in order are cotton-seed, grain, leguminous seeds, sugar, 
and onions; and lastly we may mention the not unimportant items of 
elephants 1 tusks, ostrich feathers, and mother-of-pearl. England possesses 
the lion's share of the trade and shipping, next in order coming France, 
Germany, and Austria. 

Alexandria now contains a population of upwards of 200,000 
souls, including at least 50,000 Europeans. In its palmy days it 
is said to have numbered more than half-a-million inhabitants, 
consisting of Egyptians, Greeks, Jews, Phoenicians, and Italians, 
all of whom were animated in common with the spirit of enterprise 
which attracted them to the recently founded city. The Greek ele- 
ment predominated at that period, next in importance to which 
was the Egyptian, while a numerous, but exclusive, Jewish com- 
munity was settled here as early as the 4th cent. B.C. According 
to tradition the Gospel was first preached to the Alexandrians by 
St. Mark, and it is an historical fact that the Christian community 
was already numerous in the time of Hadrian (2nd cent.). In a 
letter to Servianus the emperor himself gives a very unfavourable, 
but hardly accurate account of the Christians. 

'Egypt, my dear Servianus', writes Hadrian, 'which you extolled to 
me , I have found to be inhabited by a very frivolous and vacillating 
people , who are easily swayed by every passing rumour. Those who 
worship Serapis are the Christians, and men who call themselves bishops 
of Christ are nevertheless devoted to Serapis. There is not a single 
president of a Jewish synagogue, not a single Samaritan, not a single 
Christian presbyter that is not at the same time an astrologer, an inter- 
preter of signs, and a quack. The patriarch himself, whenever he comes 

Sights. ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 217 

to Egypt, is compelled by one party to worship Serapis, and by another 
to worship Christ. They are a refractory , good-for-nothing, and slan- 
derous set of people. — The city (Alexandria) possesses treasures and 
resources in abundance. No one's hands here are idle. At one place 
glass is manufactured, at another paper, and at another linen. All these 
busy people seem to carry on some kind of handicraft. Men with gouty 
feet, blind persons , and even those with gouty hands, all find some oc- 
cupation. They all really recognise one god only (probably Mammon), 
the same who is worshipped by Christians , Jews , and all nations. It 
is a pity that the people are of so bad a disposition, as the importance of 
the city, even in point of size , makes it well worthy of being the capi- 
tal of the whole of Egypt. I made every possible concession to the city, 
restored its ancient privileges , and added so many new ones that the 
citizens came and thanked me in person ; and yet as soon as I had left 
the place they calumniated my son Verus.* 

As at that period, so at the present day, the population of Alex- 
andria consists of members of every nation dwelling on the banks 
of the Mediterranean. The language most generally understood is 
Italian, which the Arabs, as well as other nations, learn readily. 

Sights. Unless the traveller proposes to make archaeological 
researches and to study the ancient topography of Alexandria, he 
will easily become acquainted with its principal points of interest 
in a single day (comp. p. 206). Cairo affords a far better insight 
into Oriental life than its half-European seaport, while its delight- 
ful winter climate, notwithstanding the proximity of the two cities, 
is far superior to that of Alexandria. In summer the reverse is the 
case , as the heat at Alexandria is then tempered with cool sea- 
breezes, but even as early as April, especially when the S. or S.E. 
wind prevails, the atmosphere there also is often hot and dusty. 
The European should avoid any undue exertion, which may easily 
be followed by very prejudicial effects. 

The new-comer will nevertheless find it interesting to walk 
through the town, and particularly to observe the busy streets with 
their Oriental and European throng ; and he will encounter, chiefly 
beyond the precincts of the Frank quarter, a number of isolated 
relics of antiquity, in the shape of stumps of columns , blocks of 
stone, and heaps of broken pottery. It is not an easy matter to give 
the traveller distinct directions as to his route through the city, as 
only the principal streets have well-recognised names. Most of the 
new names given them by government are unfamiliar to Europeans 
and Arabs alike, and have practically superseded the older names 
in a few cases only. Some of the streets again are differently named 
by Europeans of different nationalities. If the traveller loses his 
way he will soon meet with a donkey-boy who will take him back 
to his hotel (comp. p. 205). On the W. side of the city, and on 
the neck of land between the two harbours, the ancient Hepta- 
stadium , to the N. of the Place Me'hemet-Ali, the inhabitants are 
chiefly of Arabian extraction (p. 206), while the quarter which was 
once the island of Pharos, farther to the N. , is occupied by the 
Turks. The streets here are somewhat broader than in the other 
quarters, and the houses are sometimes handsomely built and pro- 

218 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. Pompey's Column. 

vided with gardens. Pompey's Column is easily found and forms 
a convenient landmark. 

The great centre of European life is the Place Mehemet Ali 
(formerly Place des Consuls), which is embellished with plantations 
of trees and two fountains. It was the principal scene of destruc- 
tion in 1882. In the centre rises the Equestrian Statue of Mohammed 
'Ali (PI. 35), the founder of the reigning dynasty of Egypt, designed 
by Jaquemard, and cast in Paris. The statue is 16 ft. in height, and 
stands on a pedestal of Tuscan marble 20ft. in height. As the 
Mohammedan religion forbids the pictorial or plastic representation 
of the human form , the erection of this monument was long op- 
posed by the 'Ulama, or chief professors of 'divine and legal learn- 
ing'. On the N.E. side stands the English Church (PI. 25), adjoined 
by St. Mark's Building and the International Tribunal (PI. 50), 
the only buildings which escaped the fury of the natives in 1882. 
The wooden booths and sheds which were erected after this period 
of devastation have now been removed, and their place has been 
taken by temporary shops and warehouses of a more substantial 

From the S.E. corner of the square we reach the triangular 
Place de VEglise, or Square Ibrahim, the former name being derived 
from the Roman Catholic church of St. Catharine (PI. 30) situated 
here. The Rue de la Colonne Pompe'e leads hence to the S. to the 
Porte de la Colonne Pompee, or Porte du Nil. Outside this gate we 
pass a large Arabian cemetery, lying on the right, and soon Teach 
an eminence covered with rubbish and fragments of ruins, on which 
rises *Pompey's Column (PI. 37; E, 6). The monument is composed 
of red granite from Assuan, which has withstood centuries of ex- 
posure to the elements ; and it is now the only important relic 
of antiquity in the city. The pedestal , composed of several 
blocks which once belonged to other buildings, was formerly covered 
by the earth and is much damaged. The height of the column, 
together with the disintegrated, or perhaps never quite completed, 
Corinthian capital, and the pedestal, is 104ft.; the shaft is 67ft. 
high, and is about 9 ft. in diameter below, and not quite 8 ft. at the 
top. The proportions produce an exceedingly harmonious effect. 

This handsome monument does not derive its name from Pompey 
the Great, who was murdered on the Egyptian coast (p. 97) after the 
Battle of Pharsalia, but from the Roman prefect Pompeius, who, accord- 
ing to the inscription, erected it in honour of the unconquered Diocletian, 
the 'defender of the city of Alexandria'-)-. There is no ground for sup- 
posing that this column once bore the brazen horse which the citizens 
are said to have erected as a token of gratitude to Diocletian. After 
that emperor had besieged Alexandria for eight months , and had 
destroyed the waterworks, he at length took the city, and slew the 
usurper Achilleus. According to the popular story, he then commanded 
his soldiery to massacre the seditious populace until their blood should 

+ Tov (6<j)t<oTaTOV auroxpaxopa, tov tco>.io'jxov 'AXsflavSpstas Aiox/UjTiavov 
tov av(xJ)TOV rio(|juT7)0<K eitapxo? AiyuVrou (tov EOspy^Tijv). 

Catacombs. ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 219 

reach his horse's knees. His horse soon afterwards stumbled over a 
dead body and wetted its knee in human blood, whereupon the emperor 
was pleased to regard this as a sign that the unhappy citizens had been 
sufficiently chastised. Out of gratitude, particularly to the horse , they 
are said to have erected the brazen horse which was known as that of 
Diocletian. That the horse did not, however, occupy the summit of the 
column is proved by an ancient illustrated plan of Alexandria, in which 
Pompey's Pillar is represented with the figure of a man on the top. The 
inscription , moreover , indicates that the column was erected by Pom- 
peius II., whose prefecture did not begin till A.D. 302, whereas the defeat 
and death of Achilleus took place about 296. The column has, therefore, 
no connection with the story of the brazen horse, but was probably 
erected chiefly in commemoration of a gift of corn presented by Diocletian 
to the citizens during a period of scarcity. 

Near the extensive cemetery at the foot of the column are sev- 
eral fragments of columns which probably belonged to the Serapeum 
(p. 211). If we are to believe the accounts of Makrizi and 'Abdell- 
atif, this temple was encircled by a colonnade of 400 columns, 
and once contained the library which was burned by r Omar. 

Following the road a little farther, and diverging to the right 
near a manufactory, we skirt the S. slope of a low plateau and soon 
reach the Catacombs (PI. D, 7), about i l i M. from Alexandria. 

From this point to the vicinity of the Serapeum (see above) the slop- 
ing, rocky ground was honeycombed by a great number of subterranean 
passages and tomb-chambers, but as there is now a quarry here, all traces 
of the ancient constructions will soon be obliterated. Several ornamented 
sarcophagi are still seen lying about. The workmen offer coins , chiefly 
of the time of Constantine, for sale, and it is from that period that the 
construction of the catacombs probably dates. One only of the tomb-cham- 
bers, which was discovered in 1858, is tolerably preserved, and it is now 
exposed to view owing to the fall of the stories above it. We enter by 
a wooden gate, generally open, and descend by an ancient flight of steps 
on the W. side to a group of three chambers. On the left (N. side) we 
observe an apse with traces of paintings and Greek inscriptions (Christ 
between Peter and Andrew in the middle ; on each side a love-feast). 
The vault opposite the entrance , with remains of tasteful decoration in 
stucco, contains three recesses, the paintings in which represent (W. 
side) the Maries at the Sepulchre ; (N. side) Christ , like the Egyptian 
god Horus, treading on serpents , with a quotation from Ps. xci. 13 ; and 
(E. side) the Ascension. On each side of the central recess is a large 
Greek cross with the inscription at the four corners IC XC NIKA (Jesus 
Christ conquers). These very rude frescoes probably date from about 
the 6th cent., being doubtless a second restoration of the original, as we 
still find three layers of plaster, one above the other, and each bearing 
traces of painting. The third vault, a long chamber on the E. side, con- 
tains sixteen recesses, which were once closed by means of upright slabs 
of stone. A flight of steps descending hence to the S., the outlet of 
which is now built up, led to a lower series of tombs. 

We now return to the Porte de la Oolonne Pompe'e (PI. 38), 
and follow the Rue de la Colonne back to the (!/ 4 hr.) Place Me- 
hemet-Ali (p. 218), from the N.W. corner of which diverges 
the Rue Ras et-Tln, the longest street in Alexandria. This 
street describes a wide curve through the Arabian quarter situated 
on the ancient Heptastadium (p. 217), traverses the Turkish 
quarter on what was formerly the island of Pharos (p. 217), some of 
the houses in which present a very handsome appearance, and leads 
to the Viceroyal Palace on the Ras et-Tln (PI. 43) , or 'promontory 

220 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. lias et-Tln. 

of figs.' This walk affords a good view of the street-traffic of the 
city, hut the palace itself, which was built by Mohammed 'Ali and 
restored by Ismail Pasha, is uninteresting, especially as the Diwan, 
or Council Chambers, were destroyed by a fire in 1870. The balcony, 
however, commands a fine view of the extensive harbour. (Ad- 
mission by ticket procured at the Consulate ; but the hotel com- 
missionnaires sometimes obtain access by payment of a bakshish.) 
The Harem, a separate building, facing the sea , is built on the 
model of the seraglio at Constantinople. A visit to the neighbour- 
ing Lighthouse is very interesting, especially in the early morning, 
but admission is granted only to those provided with an order from 
the governor, which may be obtained through the English or Amer- 
ican consulate. The Arsenal (PI. 1) is not worth visiting. 

A drive (3 M. ; road very dusty; carriage in the afternoon 
10 fr. , or after 5 p.m. 5-7 fr. , fee 1 fr.) should also be taken to 
the Qinenet en-Nuzha, or public garden (usually called the Jardin 
Pastre). Turning to the right outside the Porte de Rosette (PI. 40), 
leaving the European cemeteries to the left, and avoiding the 
road which leads in a straight direction to Ramleh , we pass the 
waterworks on the left, cross a small mound of ancient rubbish, 
and reach the Mahmudiyeh Canal (p. 215). We then turn to the 
left, drive for a short time along the canal , and soon reach the 
entrance to the gardens , where a band plays on Fridays and Sun- 
days from 4 to 6 p.m. Europeans will be interested by the pro- 
fusion of exotic plants which thrive here in the open air. A little 
higher up is a fine garden belonging to M. Antoniadis, a rich Greek 
merchant, who has liberally thrown it open to the public. On the 
days on which the band plays this part of the canal is the resort of 
the fashionable world of Alexandria. 

Retracing our steps, and following the bank of the canal, which 
lies on the left , we observe on the right a long succession of villas 
and gardens , including the viceroyal chateau Nimreh Teldteh 
('Number Three'), with its handsome entrance , and the chateau 
and garden of Moharrem-Bey. We may now re-enter the city by 
the Porte Moharrem-Bey, or by the Porte'de la Colonne Pompe'e. 

Adjoining the W. side of the city is the site of the original 
Macedonian Necropolis, a reminiscence of which is preserved in the 
Arabic name Oabari (see below). No traces of the cemetery now 
remain, the ground being occupied by a dirty suburb intersected 
by very bad roads. About 4^2 M. farther W. are the Quarries of 
Meks (see below), which are hardly worthy of a visit (carriage 
there and back in 2-3 hrs., 10-12 fr.). 

Starting from the Place Mehe'met-Ali , we follow the new Rue 
Ibrahim (PI. ~K, F, 4, 5), which has been constructed straight 
through an old Arabian quarter , and at the end of it cross the 
Mahmudiyeh Canal. We then turn to the left, crossing the rails 
which lead to the extensive new quay, and immediately after- 

ALEXANDRIA. 1. Route. 221 

wards proceed to the right by the Route du Meks (PI. A, B, 6), 
which skirts the coast. A little to the left of the road is the new 
Hippodrome, the race-course of Alexandria, sometimes known as 
the Gahari (see above). To the W. of it is an old palace with a 
mosque, recently converted into a Quarantine (PI. 42) or lazzaretto. 
In the friable limestone of the coast-hills are a number of tomb- 
chambers, the ceilings of which are borne by pillars of the rock 
left for the purpose ; but most of them have been destroyed by the 
inroads of the sea, and are now covered up. These chambers, which 
contain nothing interesting, have been styled the Baths of Cleo- 
patra. Farther on, to the left of the road, is the chateau of Sa'id 
Pasha (p. 203), and to the right, close to the sea, is the Bab el- 
•Arab (p. 203). 

At Meks were established the works of Messrs Greenfield & Co., 
an English firm which contracted for the construction of the im- 
posing new Harbour Works of Alexandria. These consist , in the 
first place, of an outer breakwater, beginning near the W. end of 
the island of Pharos (Ras et-Tin, p. 219), and extending to the 
S."W. towards Meks, forming an obtuse angle, and nearly 2 M. in 
length. This huge barrier, completed in Dec. 1873, is formed of 
a foundation of 26,000 solid masses of masonry, each 20 tons in 
weight , faced on the side next the sea with natural blocks , each 
15-25 cwt. in weight. The horizontal surface is 19ft. in width, 
and, at low tide, 10 ft. above the level of the water. The admirably 
sheltered harbour thus formed is nearly 1800 acres in area, and 
20-60 ft. in depth. A second pier, or Molo, nearly 1000 yds. in 
length , and connected by lines of rails with the old railway- 
station, protects the inner harbour , which is about 475 acres in 
area and on an average 27 ft. deep. From the beginning of this 
pier (near Gabari, at the S.W. extremity of the town) a series of 
new quays extends along the whole E. side of the old harbour to 
the Arsenal , whereby about 75 acres of very valuable land have 
been reclaimed. The whole length of the berthage thus obtained 
for large vessels, including the inside of the Molo, extends to nearly 
2 M. No fewer than 30,000 artificial blocks, weighing 20 tons 
each, and 2 million tons of natural blocks of stone, manufactured 
and quarried respectively at Meks , were used in the construction 
of the harbour-works. 

To the E. of Meks, and to the S. of the road, lies the extensive 
Lake Mareotis (p. 223). 

Ramleh (6</2 M. ; see below) is connected with Alexandria by 
two railways ; the direct line , on which a train runs hourly to 
Ramleh in 20 min. (fares 4pias. 20, 3pias. 20 paras, 2pias. tariff); 
and the Rosetta railway (station outside the Porte Moharrem-Bey), 
which runs two trains daily to Ramleh in 27 min. (same fares). 
There is also a new carriage-road (carriage about 10 fr.), which 

222 Route 1. RAMLEH. 

will be preferred by those who wish to inspect the fragments of 
statues and half-excavated ruins of buildings lying scattered 
about the fields. 

A few paces from the station of the direct or English line to Ram- 
leh, and close to the sea, rises the so-called Roman Tower (PI. 44), which, 
however, seems to be of Arabian origin. It was adjoined, down to March 
1880, by the famous obelisk called Cleopatra's Needle, which vied with 
Pompey's Column in general interest as a monument of antiquity. One 
of the last acts of the Khedive Isma'il was to present this obelisk to the 
city of New York. Both the native and foreign residents of Alexandria 
looked on with indignation while this interesting relic was raised by 
American machinery from the place it had occupied for 2000 years and 
removed to the specially constructed vessel that was to convey it to New 
York. Indeed it was only the public sympathy with the young Khedive 
Tewflk , who looked upon the presentation as a legacy of his father's 
government, that prevented a popular outbreak over this piece of vandal- 
ism. The obelisk now forms one of the prominent features of the Cen- 
tral Park in New York, where, however, it is feared that it will rapidly 
become defaced by the severity of the climate. — A companion obelisk, 
that lay for centuries prone in the sand by the side of Cleopatra's Needle, 
now adorns the Thames Embankment at London. 

The direct local railway traverses the rubbish heaps of the 
ancient Nicopolis. Projecting into the sea, to the left, is the small 
Fort Silseleh. We here obtain a retrospective glimpse of the sickle- 
shaped S.E. side of the town. 

Nicopolis, situated beyond the Hippodrome (of which no trace is 
now left), about 30 stadia to the E. of the city, is said to have been 'no 
smaller than a town', and received its name, 'town of victory', from 
Octavian (Augustus) in memory of the victory he gained here over 
Antony and his adherents. A small Temple, recently discovered close to 
the sea, and to the N.W. of the ruins of the Kasr el-Kaydsereh (castle of 
Csesar), the ruined walls of which have been pulled down to afford 
material for the new palace of the Khedive (see below), was perhaps 
also erected by Octavian on the same occasion. 

To the right, skirting the Mahmudiyeh Canal, runs the Rosetta 
railway (p. 447). Near the station of (4 M.) SUi Oaber, on a slight 
eminence to the left, and not far from the site of the old Roman 
castle above mentioned, is a new viceroyal palace, called Mustafa 
Pasha. The Catacombs situated to the N.E. of this point are almost 
entirely destroyed. The train now passes a series of villas and 
gardens full of luxuriant vegetation , the most attractive of which 
lie beyond the fourth of the five stations. 

6y 2 M. Bamleb. (i.e. 'sand') is a modern place, consisting chiefly 
of numerous country-houses (Pensions Beausejour and Miramare, 
both good), some of which are occupied by Alexandrian families 
throughout the whole year. It possesses waterworks of its own, which 
greatly facilitate horticulture. On the way to the sea the traveller 
will observe a few relics of the Greek and Roman periods. 

From Alexandria toRamleh by the Rosetta Railway, and thence 
via Abukir to Rosetta, see p. 447. 


2. From Alexandria to Cairo. 

128 M. Railway. Express train in 4y 3 hrs., fares 30'/2 tr. (117 pias- 
tres), 20'/4 fr. (78 piastres) ; return-tickets, available till the first train on 
the second day after, 175 piastres 20 paras or 117 piastres tariff. Ordinary 
trains in 5'/2-6 hrs., fares 97, 65, 39 piastres. Each first-class passenger has 
35 kilogrammes of luggage free, second 26, third 17 (or about 77, 57, and 
37 lbs. respectively). The first and second class carriages resemble those 
in France and Italy; the third are often excessively dirty. Five trains 
daily each way, starting at the same hours : express at 6 p.m., ordinary at 
8 (from Cairo 8.30) a.m., 10 a.m., 2.45 p.m., and 10.30 p.m. — From stat. 
Benha via Zakazik direct to Suez at 1 p.m., reaching Zakazik at 2 p.m. and 
Suez at 6. 30 p. m. (fares from Alexandria to Suez 169 arid 113 piastres 
tariff). At Kafr ez-Zaiyat (p. 225) there is a European restaurant. The 
only refreshments obtainable at the other stations are boiled eggs (bed), 
Arabian bread ( f esh) , water (moyeh), and oranges (bortukan) and sugar- 
cane (kasab) in their seasons 0/2-2 copper piastres). 

The railway-station (PI. 2; G, 5) is not far from the hotels, but the 
traveller had better drive to it, starting from his hotel at least half-an- 
hour before the advertised time of departure. New-comers and travellers 
burdened with much luggage should engage the commissionnaire of the 
hotel or a valet-de-place (2s.) to assist in booking their luggage, an 
operation carried on by the employes with those alternations of apathetic 
indolence and violent hurry which are so characteristic of Orientals. 
The Alexandria and Cairo line, the first railway constructed in the East, 
was made under Sa'id Pasha in 1855 and was to have been continued by 
another line from Cairo across the desert to Suez, but the latter project 
has been abandoned. The names of the stations are not called out. 
The Arabian villages (comp. p. 39) seen from the line present a very 
curious appearance , and the interior of their half-open mud-hovels is 
frequently visible. The dust is very annoying in hot weather, forcing 
its way into the carriages even when the windows are closed. 

The train first traverses gardens towards the N.E., and beyond 
Sidi Qaher diverges to the right from the line to Rosetta (p. 447). 
To the left is the ruin of the Kasr el-Kaydsereh (p. 222), situated 
on the coast, with the chateau of Ramleh (p. 222) in the distance. 
It then crosses the Mahmudtyeh Canal (p. 448) and skirts its S. 
bank nearly as far as stat. Damanhur (see below). To the left lies 
the Lake of Abukir (Beheret Ma'adiyeh) ; to the right is Lake Mareotis 
(Beheret Marytii) , the water of which washes the railway embank- 
ment at places during the period of the inundation, while in sum- 
mer it is a considerable distance from it. 

The Lake Mareotis, or Mareia, as it was also called in ancient times, 
bounds Alexandria on the S. side. In Strabo's time it was filled from the 
Nile by means of numerous canals, both from the S. and E., which 
brought great traffic to this inland harbour , while the sea-harbour was 
more important for the export trade. The lake, which lies 8 ft. below 
the sea-level, was once surrounded by a luxuriantly fertile tract of country, 
irrigated from the Nile as early as the time of Herodotus. The banks once 
yielded excellent white wine , which has been extolled by Horace and 
Virgil , and is mentioned by Athenseus as having been particularly 
wholesome. Egypt now produces very little wine , but reminiscences 
of its culture in the region of Lake Mareotis are still preserved in 
the name Karm (i.e. 'vineyard', pi. kurum), which the Arabs apply to 
some ancient ruins here , and in numerous wine-presses hewn in the 
rocks which still exist. Mahmud-Bey and Professor Kiepert divide this 
coast region into four parallel zones : (1) The chain of sand-hills on the 
coast, where many old ruins are still observable ; (2) The depression of 
the Wadi Maryut, a western prolongation of the lake, the water of which 

224 Route 2. DAMANHUR. From Alexandria 

covers the eastern and lower half of that valley, while the western half 
consists of marshy ground with several islands, bearing ruins of ancient 
buildings; (3) The chain of hills to the S. of the lake, about 5 M. in 
width , and consisting of fertile land , with the ruins of about forty an- 
cient villages ; (4) The Mareotic plain , stretching to the margin of the 
desert, and also containing many ruins. 

During the Arabian and Turkish regime the waters of the lake 
gradually subsided , but in 1801 , during the siege of Alexandria , the 
English cut through the neck of land between the lake and the sea near 
the so-called Maison Carree, a little to the W. of Abukir, thus laying an 
extensive and fertile region under water and destroying about 150 vil- 
lages. The present Es-Sett marks the spot where the fatal cutting was 
made and afterwards closed. Mohammed f Ali did all in his power to 
repair the damage and to improve the environs of Alexandria, but about 
100,000 acres of cultivable land are said still to be covered by the sea- 
water. The water is now evaporated for the sake of its salt , the right 
to manufacture which is farmed out by government for 4000 purses 
(nearly 20,000 (.) per annum. 

We observe at intervals the sails of the barges on the Mahmu- 
diyeh Canal , and long strings of laden camels traversing the 
embankments. 17 M. Kafr ed-Dawar was the point at which 
Arabi erected his strongest fortifications in 1882, after the English 
had occupied Alexandria and Ramleh. We now perceive the first 
cotton-fields on the right. — 28 M. Abu Horns, a group of mud- 

3872 M. Damanhur (first station at which the express stops, 
reached in l 1 /^ hr.), the capital of the province of Behtreh , with 
25,000 inhab. , was the ancient Egyptian Tema-en-Hor (city of 
Horus) , and the Roman Hermopolis Parva. The town lies on an 
eminence, and contains some tolerably substantial buildings. Among 
them are several manufactories for the separation of the cotton 
from the seeds , and above them tower several minarets. The 
Arabian cemetery lies close to the railway. In July, 1798, Bona- 
parte, on his expedition to Cairo, selected the route via Damanhur, 
which at the time was so excessively parched and burned up that 
his officers and men suffered terribly , while he himself narrowly 
escaped being taken prisoner. On 21st July, however, he succeeded 
in defeating the troops of the Mamelukes at the 'Battle of the Py- 
ramids', and on the 25th he entered Cairo. In Nov., 1802, the 
Mamelukes here inflicted a signal defeat on the Turks. A large 
market is held at Damanhur on Sundays , and a smaller one on 
Fridays. (From Damanhur to Fum el-Bahr aniRosetta, see p. 448.) 

55 M. Tell el-Barud, a village with a large mound of ruins. 

From Tell el-Barud to Bulak ed-Dakrur (p. 231) a direct railway 
connecting our line with the Upper Egyptian Railway, was opened in 
1875. The traveller bound for Cairo, however, will not care to take 
this route except in case of necessity. The train leaves Alexandria at 
10.30 p.m., reaches (55 M.) Tell el-Barud at 1.20 a.m. (halt of 40 min.), 
and arrives at (130 M.) Bulak ed-Dakrur at 7.5 a.m.; it starts again at 
8.30 a.m. and arrives at (358'/2 M.) Siut at 6.45 p. m. — In the reverse direc- 
tion the train leaves Siut at 8. 30 a.m. and arrives at Bulak at 7.5 p.m.; 
it starts again at 8.30 p.m., reaches Tell el-Barud at 2 a. m'., and Alexan- 
dria at 5.20 a.m. — Fares: to Bulak 97 piast. 20 par. , 65 piast. ; to Siut 
269 piast. 10 par., 179 pias. 20 paras.' 

to Cairo. TANTA. 2. Route. 225 

As far as Bulak the train follows the W. bank of the Rosetta branch 
of the Nile , skirting the boundary between the Libyan desert and the 
cultivated Delta of the Nile. The stations between Tell el-Barud and 
Bulak are K6m Hamddeh, Et-Taryeh, Kafr Ddwud , El-Warddn, and El- 
Mend'shi. The station at Bulak is nearly l'/2 M. from the Muski. Car- 
riages not always to be had. 

The cultivated land becomes richer, and we pass villages, 
groups of trees, and even tamarisks. The train reaches the broad 
Rosetta arm of the Nile, crosses it by a long iron bridge (fine 
view to the left), and enters the station of (65 M.) Kafr ez- 
Zaiy&t (second station at which the express stops, 2 hrs. after 
leaving Alexandria; halt of 20min.; restaurant). The town, which 
carries on a busy trade in grain , cotton , and the other products of 
the Delta (p. 73), lies on the right bank of the river. Excursion 
to the ruined site of Sais, the modern Sd el-Hager, see R. 8, d. 

The Delta in Winter. 'The fields are still wet at places, and straight 
canals are seen in every direction. All the cereals grown in ancient times 
still flourish here , and the slender palm still rears its fruit-laden crown 
beside the less frequent sycamore, with its slender umbrageous foliage. 
The cotton-plants are successfully cultivated where the soil is well irrigated, 
and form extensive plantations of underwood, bearing a profusion of yel- 
low, red , and white blossoms , which somewhat resemble wild roses. 
Vineyards are rare , but they sometimes occur in the northern part of 
the Delta , the plants being trained on the trelliswork which we often 
see represented in the paintings ot the ancient Egyptian tombs. The 
\vater-wheels (sakiyeh) are turned by buffaloes and donkeys, and soma- 
times by camels or by steam ; and the water-pail (shaduf) , though less 
common than in Upper Egypt, is occasionally plied by slightly clad men 
and boys. The canals are flanked with embankments to protect the fields 
from inundation, and the paths on these banks are enlivened with strings 
of camels, donkeys with their riders, and men, women, and children on 
foot. From a distance the villages look like round, grey hillocks, full of 
openings , and around them rise dovecots and palm-trees. On closer 
examination we distinguish the mud-huts , huddled together on rising 
ground where they are safe from the inundation. Many of these hamlets 
are adorned with very handsome groups of palms, while the minarets 
which overtop the larger villages and towns seem to point as devoutly 
to heaven as our Gothic church-spires'. (£6ers, 'Goshen', etc.) 

76 M. Tanta (3 3 / 4 hrs. from Alexandria, ly.^rir. from Cairo). 

Opposite the station is an Inn kept by a Greek, which looks not 
uninviting. The Greek Restaurant on the Canal, near the Bazaar, is pa- 
tronised by European merchants from Cairo and Alexandria during the 
fair of Tanta. 

Consular Agents. British, Mr. Joyce; German, Hr. Dahhdn; French, 
M. Atkanasi. 

Tanta, the handsome capital of the province of Gharbtyeh, 
which lies between the Rosetta and Damietta arms of the Nile, 
with a population estimated at 60, 000 souls, possesses large public 
buildings and an extensive palace of the Khedive. The bazaars 
present a very busy scene at the time of the fairs (see below). 

The Mosque of the Seyyid el-Bedawi, having been recently 
restored, presents a handsome appearance. The large court contains 
the basin for ablutions (pp. 147, 184). 

Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi is probably the most popular saint in Egypt, 
and the most frequently invoked. He is said to have been born in the 
12th cent, at Fez , or according to others at Tunis , and to have settled 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 15 

226 Route -2. TANTA. From Alexandria 

at Tanta after a pilgrimage to Mecca. He is credited with the possession 
of great personal strength , and is therefore invoked in times of danger 
or exertion, and by women also who desire the blessing of children. 

Travellers may generally visit the mosque without an attendant, but 
must not omit to deposit their shoes at the door. During the fair, however, 
which attracts among other visitors a number of fanatical Mohammedans 
from countries rarely visited by Europeans, it is advisable to procure the 
escort of the shekh of the mosque , to whom an introduction may be 
obtained through the consular agent (fee 1-2 fr.). 

The catafalque of the saint is covered with red velvet richly 
adorned with embroidery, and is enclosed by a handsome bronze 
railing. The dome is still unfinished. One large and two small 
schools are connected with the mosque. The sebil, or tank, with 
the small medreseh (school) above it, situated in the space adjoin- 
ing the mosque, is an interesting old building. 

The most important of the three annual Fairs of Tanta is that 
of the 'molid' (nativity) of the saint in August. The other' two fairs 
are in January and April. Each fair lasts from one Friday to the 
following, presenting an interesting and picturesque scene , but too 
often marred by the licentiousness so prevalent among Orientals. In 
August upwards of half-a-million persons congregate here from all the 
Eastern countries bordering on the Mediterranean, and from the Moham- 
medan part of Africa. The Egyptian peasantry, who purchase cattle, 
implements, clothing, and trinkets at the fair, are always largely represent- 
ed, and a number of European merchants are also to be met with. The 
number of visitors to the April fair is said to average 200,000, and to the 
January fair 50,000. Upwards of a million head of cattle are sold 
annually at these fairs. Beggars and pilgrims farther contribute to swell 
these vast crowds, and the merchants themselves usually combine a pious 
visit to the shrine of the saint with their commercial business ; for the 
Prophet permits even the Mecca pilgrims to engage in trade, although he 
has imposed on them many unpleasant restrictions. In August and April 
we also encounter here the greater number of the Ghawazi and 'Awalim 
(eomp. p. 20) , of the singing and dancing and unveiled women , and of 
the jugglers and showmen of every kind who dwell on the banks of the 
Nile. The fair of Tanta may indeed almost be regarded as a modern 
reflex of the pilgrimage to Bubastis (p. 411) described by Herodotus. 
Women uttering the peculiar crowing sound which they use to express 
great emotion still approach the sacred shrine in boats as in the time of 
Herodotus, and license is everywhere prevalent. — Long processions of 
camels laden with chests and bales are seen converging towards the town, 
accompanied by crowds of men and large herds of cattle. The banks of 
the canal are thronged with persons washing themselves and drawing 
water. The streets teem with the most animated traffic , and are filled 
with long rows of boats, in many of which the occupants are seen plying 
their handicrafts. Dervishes with dishevelled hair and ragged clothes, 
cripples , and idiots , who are treated with great respect , are clamorous 
for bakshish ; and pilgrims returning from Mecca are saluted with flags 
and symbols at the gate of the mosque. On the first Friday of each fair 
the vast concourse of visitors , headed by the chief authorities of the 
town, move in procession towards the mosque of the sainted Seyyid. In 
the large space set apart for shows , adjoining the horse-market , the 
jesters usually attract a numerous audience. When they pronounce the 
name of Allah the whole of the assemblage seated around bow their 
heads with one accord. The gestures of terror and astonishment made 
by the children and negroes at the performances of the jugglers are very 
amusing. Among the most popular exhibitions are those of the obscene 
Karagyuz, and the dances performed by men in female dress (comp. p. 21). 

From Tanta to Mahallet Mtih, MansHra, and Damietta, see pp. 445, 439. 

A short branch-line runs from Tanta to the S. to Shibtn el-K6m, a 

to Cairo. BENHA. 2. Route. 227 

small town on this side of the Rosetta branch of the Nile , in the Menii- 
fiyeh, one of the most fertile regions in the Delta. 

Beyond Tanta the train traverses a fertile tract , and beyond 
(87 M.) Birket es-Sab'a crosses a small arm of the Nile. A number 
of cotton-cleaning mills afford an indication of the wealth of the 
country. A little farther on, near Benha, on the Damietta arm of 
the Nile, is a large viceroyal palace, where 'Abbas Pasha (p. 107}, 
Sa'id Pasha's predecessor, was murdered in 1854. The train cross- 
es the Damietta branch of the Nile by an iron bridge , and , im- 
mediately beyond it, reaches — 

101 M. Benha (reached from Alexandria in 372 hrs. , from 
Cairo in % hr. ; railway to Zakazik , Isma'iliya , and Suez , see 
p. 407), or Benha l-'Asal, i.e. 'Benha of the honey', so called from 
a jar of honey which Makaukas, the Copt (p. 374), is said to have 
sent from this place to the Prophet. The red oranges and the 
'Yusuf Efendi' mandarins of Benha are much esteemed at Cairo, 
and excellent grapes are also produced here. 

To the N.E. of Benha, not far from the town, and intersected by the 
railway , are the ruins of the ancient Athribis , the 'heart-city' of anti- 
quity, situated in the 10th Nomos of Lower Egypt, and named K6m el- 
Atrib by the natives of the village of Atrtb or Etrib. The site of the an- 
cient town is still traceable, but the remains hardly repay a visit, and no 
inscriptions are now left. The heaps of rubbish begin near the Rosetta 
branch of the river and end by a small canal. A lion bearing the name 
of Ramses II. , found here and carried to Europe , and the fact that the 
town and the deities belonging to it are mentioned in a few hieroglyphic 
inscriptions, indicate that it was founded in the time of the Pharaohs. 
A Roman-Egyptian necropolis was at a later period founded at the end 
of the long street on the remains of ancient buildings. Brugsch, who vis- 
ited the place in 1854, describes it thus : — 'The dead lay in their coffins 
in tomb-chambers which were situated immediately below the surface 
of the mound of rubbish and were constructed of black Nile-bricks dried 
in the sun. The chambers were vaulted and lay adjacent to each other. 
I sought in vain for inscriptions and paintings, but one of the chambers 
was coloured red. The coffins consist of square boxes of cedar-wood, 
the sides being about an inch in thickness. The mummies were admirably 
preserved and elaborately encased in their cerements. Neither they nor 
the coffins bore any trace of hieroglyphics , but on the lid of one of the 
latter I found the word I1ATPA2 and a date. Many statues and busts of 
the Grseco-Roman period have also been found here, which indicate that 
the town of Athribis was a place of considerable importance at this late 
epoch of Egyptian history'. 

Near (109 M.) Tukh the mountains enclosing the Nile higher 
up become visible in the distance, those on the E. (Arabian) side 
appearing lower than those on theW. (Libyan) side. About 5min. 
later the outlines of the pyramids begin to loom in the distance 
towards the S.W., and near (12072 M.) Kalyub these stupendous 
structures become distinctly visible. About 3 M. to the W. of 
this point is the Barrage du Nil (p. 408), to which a disused 
branch-line diverges. Railway to Zakazik, Isma'iliya, and Suez, 
see R. 5. The Libyan chain becomes more distinctly visible, and 
we also observe the Mokattam range with the citadel, and the mosque 
of Mohammed f Ali with its slender minarets. The scenery now 


228 Route?. KALYUB. 

becomes more pleasing. The fields are enlivened with numerous 
trees and gardens and villas come in sight. To the left he the 
site of the ruins of Heliopolis (the obelisk of which is not seen from 
the railway), and the garden of Matariyeh with its sycamores, and 
the large chateau of 'Abbasiyeh , while on the right we perceive 
the beautiful avenue leading to Shubra (p. 330). The environs of 
the city become more and more prominent, and about oU mm. 
after leaving Benha the train enters the station of (128 M.) Cairo. 

CAIRO -"-*'■ 


Head or 
Wider Cniuhrit »° 

Yui*t-TTn»ali£ ( . 

Gt-ftirraph .Institution of 


Explanation of Numbers in Plan of Cairo. 

1. American Mission . . . C,5 

2. Bet el-Kadi C,2 

3. Burckhardt's Grave. . . B,2 


4. Armenian C,3. 

5. Armenian-Catholic . . C,ir 

6. Coptic-Catholic .... C.3,E.4 

7. Coptic-Jacobite .... B,4,5 

8. English C,5 

9. French C,3 

10. German C,5 

11. Greek Catholic. ... C,3 

12. Maronite C,3 

13. Roman Catholic (Latin) C,3 

14. Sisters of Sacred Heart B,4 

15. Syrian C,3 

16. Citadel F,G,1,2 

17. Club Khedivial C,4 


18. British 

19. French 

20. German 

21. Austrian 

22. Deaconesses' Institute . 

23. Dervish Monastery in the 

24. Exchange 

25. Fum el-Khalig 

26. Geographical Institution 

27. Joseph's Well 

23. Kasr el-'Ain, Hospital . 

29. Kasr en-Nil, Barrack . . 

30. library, viceroyal . . . 

31. Ministry of PublicWorks 

32. Medreseh Gameliyeh . . 


33. Gami' 'Abbas Pasha . 

34. — Abul Seba 

35. — El-Akhdar 

36. — El-Akbar (Tekiyet 



El-Azhar . . 

Barkukiyeh . 

El-B'en'at. . . 


El-Ghuri' C,D,2 







C '2 




— Sultan Hasan . 

— Hasan Pasha . 

— HasenSn . . . . 

— Ibrahim Agha 

— Kait Bey . . . 

— Kasr el-'Ain . . 

— Kessun . . . . 
El-Kirkia . . . 

52. — Mahmudi 



— Mohammed 'Ali 

— Mohammed Bey 


55. Garni' Moh. Bey Mabdul 

56. — Moh. e'n-Nasir . . 

57. — El-Muaiyad' . . . 

58. — Nureddin .... 

59. — Rifa'iyeh .... 

60. — Salaheddin Yusuf 

61. — Shekh Ramadan . 

62. — Shekh Saleh.' . . 

63. — Shekhun. .'. . . 

64. — Sidi Bedreddin . 

65. — Sidi el-Isma'ili . 

66. — Seiyideh Safiya . 








— Suleman Pasha 

— Ibn Tulun .... 

— El-W'erdani . . . 

— Yusuf Gamali . . 

— Ez-Zahir 

es-Seiyideh Zenab 

Muristan Kalaun . . . 
Okella Suiflkar Pasha 
Opera House 

'Abidin (viceroyal) . . 




Ibrahim-Pasha .... 


Kasr 'Ali 

83. — 'Ed-Dubara .... 

84. Kiamil-Pasha 

85. Mansur-Pasha .... 

86. Police 'Office 

87. Post Office (Egyptian) . 

88. Place of Execution . . . 

89. Railway Station .... 

90. Rosetti Garden 

91. Sebil of 'Abderrahman 

— of Mohammed 'Ali . 

— of the Khedive's grand- 

— of 'Abbas Pasha . . . 
Shekh Mufti (ul-Islam) . 

96. — Es-Sadad 

97. Telegraph Office, British 
97a. Egyptian .... 

98. Theatre, French .... 

99. Tribunal, International . 

100. Waterworks, head of old 

S. Synagogues 


a. New Hotel 

b. Shepheard's Hotel. . . . 

c. Hotel du Nil 

d. — Royal 

e. — d'Angleterre 

f. — d'Orient 

g. Pension Fink 




F '2 













D 'S 










A, 5 










Gates, Streets, etc. 


Bab 'Arab el-Isar 

— El-Attabey 

— El-Azab 

— Derb el-Maruk .... 
— • Faghalla 

— El-Futuh 

— El-Gebei 

— El-Gedid 

— El-Ghoriiyib 

— Hasaniyeh 

— El-Kabasseh 

— El-Karafeh 

— Kasr en-Nil 

— En-Nasr 

— Esh-Sha'riyeh 

— Seiyideh Nefiseh ... 

— Seiyideh Zenab 

— Tulun 

— El-Wezir 

— El-Wustani 

— Ez-Zuweleh (Mutawelli) . 




Khan el-Khalili 

Suk el-'Attarin 

— El-Fahhami 

— El-G6hargiyeh 

— El-Hamzawi 

— En-Nahhasin 

— Es-Saigti 

— Es-Selaf 

— Es-Sellaha 

— Es-Sudan 


1 Places.' 


Atab el-Kadra . . . . 
Bab el-Khalk . . . . 

Bab el-Liik 

Place de la Bourse. . 




C '2 






Fish Market B,4 

Karamedan F,G,2 

Sultan Hasan F,2 

Meheme't Ali (Menshiyeh Ge- 

dideh) F,G,2 

Place de l'Opera C,4,5 

Eumeleh F,2 

Rond Point du Bah el-Louq D,5 

de Faghalla B,5 

de THippodrome . . . C,5 

du Caracol de Kasr en- 
Nil ".'... D,6 

du Mouski C,3 

de Nasrieh E,5 


Abbasieh, Route de T . . . A,B,2,5 

Boulaq, Route de C,5,G 

Boulevard 'Abdul 'Aziz . . C,D,4 

— Clot Bey B,4,5 

— Fumm el-Khalig G,H,6 

— Kasr 'Ali E,F,5 

— Mohammed 'Ali .... C,D,E,3,4 

— Shekh Rihan E,3,6 

— Soliman Pasha D,5,G 

Derb el-Ahmar D,E,2 

— El-Gamamiz E,F,4 

— El-Yahudi C,3 

Gameliyeh C,2 

Gami' el-Benat, Sikket . . C,D,3 

Ghuriyeh C,D,2 

Habbaniyeh E,3,4 

Hawala, Route de U,4 

Kantarat ed-Dikkeh, Sikket B,5 

Margflsheh, Sikket ^B,2,3 

Muski C,2,3 

Neuve, Rue C,2,3 

Rageb Agha, Rue D,E,4 

Rugbiyeh F,G,3 

Salibeh F,2,3 

Shubra Avenue A, 5, 6 

Serafs, Rue des C,3 

Siufiyeh F,3 

Sukkariyeh D,2 

Tribunal, Rue du C,4 


3. Cairo. 

Railway Stations (comp. p. 11). The station for Alexandria (R. 2), 
Zakazik, Isma'iliya, and Suez (R. 5), and for the whole of the Delta, 
lies beyond the Isma'iliyeh Canal (PI. A, 5), l fa M. from the end of the 
Muski. The station for Bedrashen (Sakkara), the Fayfim, and the Nile 
railway as far as Siut (p. 371), and also for the branch-line of the Alex- 
andria and Cairo railway (p. 224), diverging at Tell el-Barud (opened in 
1875), is at Bulak ed-Dakriir, li/ 2 M. from the Muski. The station for 
the line to Tura and Helwan (p. 403) is in the Place Me'hemet-AH, below 
the Citadel (PI. F, G,'2). 

The hotel commissionnaires with their omnibuses or carriages await 
the arrival of each train and take charge of luggage. As it not unfre- 
quently happens that all the hotels are full , it is a wise precaution to 
telegraph for rooms from Alexandria. Carriage with two horses from the 
station to one of the hotels 2'/2-3 fr., donkey '/z fr., luggage-donkey '/2 fr- 
(but an attempt to extort more is always made ; comp. p. 12). 

Hotels (see remark on p. 204). 'New Hotel (PI. a; C, 5), in the Ezbe- 
kiyeh, a large building with handsome rooms (landlord, Sign. Panlellini) ; 
"Shepheard's Hotel (PI. b; C, 5), also in the Ezbekiyeh (proprietor Hr. 
Zech, manager Hr. Oross), patronised by English and American travellers. 
Each of these hotels has a terrace and garden, and the charge at each 
is 12-16s. per day. ! 'H6tel du Nil (PI. c ; C, 3), in a narrow street off the 
Muski (p. 253), the main artery of traffic ; a good house, though uninvit- 
ing externally, with a pleasant garden (proprietor Hr. Friedmann), 15-16 fr. 
per day. "Hotel Royal (PI. d ; B, 4, 5), in the Ezbekiyeh, moderate 
charges; Hotel d'Orient (PI. f; C, 4), -Hotel d'Angleterke (PI. e; C, 4), 
both in the Ezbekiyeh, with good cooking, and moderate charges. All 
these hotels have baths and reading-rooms. 

Pensions. At the following houses board and lodging may be ob- 
tained for 250-500 fr. a month according to the size and position of the 
rooms, wine included : Madame Fink (PI. g ; D, 5), in a healthy situation 
in the Quartier Isma'iliya (good table); Hdtel Couteret, opposite Shep- 
heard's Hotel ; Hdtel oV Angleterre (see above) , Hdtel de Byzanze (rooms 
only), in the Ezkebiyeh. 

Private Apartments for the winter may also now be procured without 
much difficulty. A slight knowledge of the language , however, is indis- 
pensable, as the servants seldom speak foreign languages. The cost of 
living in this way is lower than at a hotel, but it is seldom possible to 
secure private lodgings for a shorter period than six months. A sunny 
aspect should be chosen, and a detailed written contract drawn up. A 
bargain as to food may be made with some neighbouring restaurant. 
Wine, see p. 235. Information as to rooms may be obtained at the cigar- 
shop of Livadas in the Ezbekiyeh ; but it is advisable to submit the con- 
tract before signing to an impartial resident. 

Restaurants. "Santi, in the garden of the Ezbekiyeh, dejeuner 3, 
dinner 3'/2 fr.; Hdtel d'Angleterre, Kovats, both in the Ezbekiyeh. 

Confectioners : Berti (an Italian) in the Ezbekiyeh and the Muski ; 
Schneider, Mathieu, both in the Ezbekiyeh. 

Cafes in the European style abound (beer '/2 fr. per glass). Most of 
them have a separate room in which roulette is played, and the traveller 
need hardly be cautioned against joining in the game. "De la Bourse 
in the Ezbekiyeh ; also in the Ezbekiyeh Garden , by the music tents 
(p. 258). Beer is sold by Bohr, near the post-office ; Miiller, Cafi du Square, 
near Shepheard's Hotel ; Mayr, in the Ezbekiyeh ; Kovats, near the Cafe 
Egyptien (see below). — Bodega, with various English beverages, next 
door to the Cafe Royal. — The following are Cafes Chantanls, where Bo- 
hemian musicians and singers perform in the evening : Cafe" Egyptien, 
opposite Shepheard's Hotel ; Eldorado , in the Ezbekiyeh. 

The Arabian Cafe's (p. 17), of which there are upwards of a thousand 
at Cairo , each consisting of a single booth with a few cane-bottomed 
seats, are hardly worth visiting. Small cup of coffee with sngar 30, 

232 Route 3. 



without sugar 20, 'Stambuli' coffee 40 paras copper. — Outside the Euro- 
pean cafes are usually congregated a number of Shoeblacks ('Boyeh' i. e. 
'colour' in Turkish), a lively but sometimes too importunate fraternity, 
who jabber a few words in several of the European languages. Shoe-cleaning 
10 paras in silver. The negroes always seem specially anxious to have 
their boots well polished. 

If oney Changers , Arabic Sarraf (comp. p. 4) , who endeavour to 
attract customers by rattling their money, are to be found in every street. 
Although it is very desirable always to be well provided with small 
change, the traveller is cautioned against dealing with these people until 
he is thoroughly conversant with all the coins. He should also be on his 
guard against spurious piastres. The usual exchange for a Napoleon is 154 
piastres current, and for a franc 7 piastres and 10 paras. 

Bankers (comp. p. 3). S. Miiller, in the Rosetti Garden ; Bank of 
Egypt, Rondpoint du Mouski ; Cridit Lyonnais, at the Egyptian Post Office ; 
Banque Ottomane; Banqtie Anglo-Egyptienne ; Suares. The chief Alexandrian 
firms (p. 206) also have branch-offices at Cairo. English circular notes 
and French banknotes always realise the best exchange. 

Consulates (comp. p. 6). The consuls general have their chief of- 
fices at Alexandria, but most of them reside at Cairo in winter. American, 
Mr. Comanos ; secretary, Mr. Walmass. — British (PI. 18), in the Ezbekiyeh ; 
Mr. Borg. — Austrian (PI. 21), in the Ezbekiyeh; consul, Hr. Neumann. — 
Belgian, in the Ezbekiyeh ; M. Franquet. — Danish, in the Rosetti Garden ; 
Hr. Schulz. — Butch, near the Muski, in the narrow street leading to the 
Hotel du Nil; consul, Hr. Fabricius. — French (PI. 19), in the Ezbekiyeh ; 
consul, 31. Lequeux; secretary, M. Eymar. — German (PI. 20), in the Quar- 
tier Isma'iliya; consul, Hr. Martens; secretary, Hr. Wilhelm. — Greek, in 
the Place de l'Opera; consul, M. Rhalli. — Italian, in the Place de l'Opera; 
consul, Sign. Venanzi. — Persian, in the Ezbekiyeh; consul-general, Hadji 
Mohammed Khan ; secretary, Mirza r Ali Effendi. — Russian ; vice-consul, 
M. Gre'goire d'Elie. — Portuguese ; M. Caprara. — Swedish; Hr. Borg. 

Carriages , generally good, and with two horses, abound at Cairo. 
The principal stand is to the right of the entrance to the Muski, and 
there are others in the Ezbekiyeh, near the Hotel d'Orient, and in the 
Place f Abidin, near the offices of the minister of finance. The new tariff 
of 1882 is never strictly adhered to. For a short drive the usual fare is l-l'/a 
fr. ; for >/2-l hr. 2-3 fr. ; for a whole day 20 fr., or for the better carriages 
25 fr. — The following are the fares for the principal drives and excur- 
sions in a carriage and pair : — 







Rail. Station . . . 

— with luggage . 

Rail. Station at Bu- 
lak ed-Dakrur . 


Bfilak (Museum) . 

Shubra Garden. . 

Shubra Avenue, as 
far as Kasr en- 
Nuzha .'.... 

'Abbasiyeh .... 


Matariyeh (Helio- 
pblis , Virgin's 

2>/ 2 









Fumm el-Khalig . 

Kasr en-Nil (start- 
ing-point of Nile 
Steamers) . . . 

Kasr el-'Ain . . . 

Old Cairo (Masr 
el-'Atika, Island 
of Roda) .... 

Atar en-Nebi . . . 

Pyramids of Gi- 
zeh, 2 persons . 

Pyramids of Gi- 
zeh, 4 persons 





2-2'/ 2 

These fares include the return-journey, except in the case of the rail- 
way stations and the Kasr en-Nil. 

When, however, a' drive of any length is contemplated, the traveller 
had better enquire of the landlord or manager of his hotel as to the 

Donkeys- CAIRO. 3. Route. 233 

proper fare. On Sundays and holidays the fares rise considerably, and 
it is then often difficult to get a good vehicle. The sdis, or boy who runs 
before the carriage to clear the way in the crowded streets, is a very 
useful attendant (p. 247). His services are included in the carriage-fare, 
but he expects a small additional fee (2 piastres). 

Omnibuses ply from the Place de la Bourse fPl.C,4) to the railway stations 
and to the ministries, the Khan el-Khalili, and the Shubra-Allee. Fares, 
1st class 1 piastre tariff, 2nd class 20 paras. 'Correspondences' at half fares. 

Donkeys (comp. p. 11) afford the best and most rapid mode of loco- 
motion in the narrow and crowded streets of Cairo , and they are to be 
met with, day and night, in every part of the town. The attendants often 
thrust them unceremoniously on the traveller's notice by placing them 
directly in his path. These animals are to be found in great numbers at 
all the most frequented points, and if one is wanted in the middle of the 
night the word 'hammar' (p. 11) shouted out immediately attracts a large 
assortment of them. The donkey-boys of Cairo have all the savoir vivre 
of denizens of a large city, and they often possess a considerable fund of 
humour, which they show most readily when well paid. They delight 
in excursions into the country (to Sakkara, for instance), which afford 
them a 'fantasiya', or special treat ; and the European will be astonished 
at the smallness of their requirements and those of their beasts. The 
donkeys are particularly serviceable in the narrow streets of the Arabian 
quarter, which afford shade and coolness, but are not accessible to car- 
riages. For a short ride in the town the usual charge is 1-2 piastres 
tariff (25-50 c); for 1 hr., 1 fr. ; for a forenoon in the town, 2>/2 fr. ; for 
excursions 4-6 fr. per day (ladies' saddle 1 fr. extra), and a bakshish of 
1 h~ 3 li fr- to the boy, unless he has been uncivil. When a donkey is hir- 
ed to carry baggage, its attendant should be required to follow the same 
route as the travellers themselves, and always to remain in sight. Per- 
sons making a prolonged stay, as soon as they have found a good don- 
key with proper gear and a satisfactory attendant, had better secure its 
future services by the payment of an extra bakshish. Care should be 
taken to choose a donkey with sound fore-legs. 

Commissionnaires (comp. p. 13). The traveller who is pressed for 
time, and wishes to see as much as possible, cannot well dispense 
with a cicerone. The best guides (5-8 fr. per day) are to be had at the 
hotels. They often try to induce their employers to engage them for 
distant tours , such as that to Jit. Sinai, or the voyage up the Nile, but 
for such expeditions they are totally unfitted. As a rule, purchases should 
never be made in their presence. If, however, the traveller knows a few 
words of Arabic, and is not in a hurry, he will soon find his way through 
every part of the city and the environs with the aid of his donkey-boy alone. 

Dragomans (comp. pp. 13, 205). Information as to trustworthy dra- 
gomans may be obtained at the traveller's consulate , at the hotels , at 
Kcmffmann's, the bookseller, or at Zigada's, in the Muski. The following 
may be recommended: Michael Shaija, a Syrian Christian; Muhammed 
Sdlim; Shall. 

Post Office (PI. 87; C, 4), on the E. side of the Ezbekiyeh, open 
daily from 7 a. m. to 6 p. m., and also for a short time after the arrival 
of the last mail train, or for a longer time when the British, Indian, and 
other important mails come in. Letter-boxes at most of the hotels , at 
Berti's (the confectioner), at the railway-stations, and in various other places. 

Telegraph Offices. Egyptian (PI. 97a ; C, 5), in the Quartier Isma'iliya ; 
British (PI. 97; C, 5), next door to the New Hotel. The Egyptian tele- 
graph only can be used for messages within Egypt. Telegrams for Upper 
Egypt must be in Arabic. Comp. p. 28. 

Theatres. Italian Opera (PI. 75 ; C, 4). The winter season depends, 
however, entirely on the subsidy of the Khedive, which is not always 
granted. — Summer Theatre in the Ezbekiyeh Garden, see p. 258. 

Physicians. Dr. Grant-Bey, English; Dr. Hess; Dr. Wildl; Dr. Becker ; 
Dr. Comanos, a Greek, who has studied in Germany. — Oculists : Dr. Tachau, 
Dr. Brugsch. — Dentists : Mr. Broadway and Mr. Waller, both English . — 
The addresses may be obtained at the hotels. 

234 Route 3. CAIRO. Churches. 

Chemists. Sommer (a German), in the Ezbekiyeh and the Muski 
(English and homoeopathic prescriptions made up) ; Ducrot (a Frenchman), 
also in the Ezbekiyeh ; Nardi, in the Muski ; Swiss Pharmacy of Dr. Hess, 
in the Ezbekiyeh; Phartnacie Centrale (Perrot), Boulevard Clot-Bey. 

Churches. English Church (PI. 8; C, 5), Route de Boulaq, in the Is- 
ma'iliya quarter. — American Service in the American Mission (PI. 1 ; C, 5), 
near Shepheard's Hotel. — Protestant Church (PI. 10), in the Isma'iliya 
quarter ; German service in the morning, French in the afternoon. — Roman 
Catholic Church (PI. 13; C, 3), in a street off the Muski, opposite the street 
in which the Hotel du Nil is situated. Convento Orande di Terra Santa, 
with 18 chaplains of different nationalities. Jesuit Church, in the Eosetti 
Garden. Franciscan Church, near the Boul. Clot Bey. Church of the Mission 
of Central Africa, under Mgr. Sogaro. — Orthodox Greek Church (PI. 11 ; 
C, 3), in the Hamzawi (p. 253). — Coptic Catholic Church (PI. 6 ; C 3, E 4), 
at the back of the Eoman Catholic Church ; Coptic Jacobite Church (PI. 7 ; 
B, 4, 5), in a side street between the Boulevard Clot Bey* and the Ezbe- 
kiyeh. These two sects have, in all, 32 churches at Cairo. — The Jems 
here are of two sects, the Talmudists and the Karaites, the former being 
by far the more numerous. They possess 13 synagogues, most of which 
are situated in the Jewish quarter (Derb el-Yahudi). The religious affairs 
of both sects are presided over by a chief rabbi. 

Schools. The new School of the American Mission (PI. 1), conducted 
by Messrs Lansing and Watson, whose sphere of operations is chiefly 
among the Copts, adjoins the English Consulate in the Ezbekiyeh. — 
The Anglican Mission School is presided over by Miss Whateley. — The 
German School, managed by the Rev. Hr. Graeber, is largely patronised by 
all nationalities and sects. — Besides these, , there is a European Girls' 
School (Mme. Castel and Frdul. Im Hof), an Ecole Gratuite, an Ecole des 
Soeurs du SacrA^Gozur, a Pensionnat des Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, a College 
de la Ste. Famille (school of the Jesuits), and an Ecole de Freres. — Per- 
mission to visit the Egyptian schools may be obtained at the office of the 
general inspector, in the Derb el-Gamamiz (p. 269). 

Hospitals. The large Kasr el-'Ain (PI. 28; G, 6), a hospital with a 
school of medicine, lies on the Nile , on the route to Old Cairo (p. 373). 
— The European Hospital (physician, Dr. Martini), in the 'Abbasiyeh, is 
admirably fitted up, and under the supervision of the consuls. The pa- 
tients are attended by sisters of mercy. The charges are 6-12 fr. per day. 
according to the accommodation, and poor patients are also admitted at 
lower rates. — The large German Deaconnesses" 1 Institute (PI. 22 ; C, 6), in 
the new Isma'iliya quarter, opened in 1884, is intended mainly for sick 
strangers in Cairo. — The new Austrian Hospital is also in the 'Abbasiyeh. 

Teachers of Arabic. Ibrahim Effendi Zen-eddin (address ascertained 
from the porter of the Hotel du Nil) ; Serkis, a Syrian. 

Clubs. The Geographical Society (PI. 26; C, 4), founded by Dr. Schwein- 
furth, the celebrated African traveller, possesses an extensive library and 
a reading-room, which are open to visitors at certain hours. — The Club 
Khidirial (PI. 17; C, 5), in the Ezbekiyeh, is fitted up in the English 
style, and is patronised by some of the higher government officials among 
other members. Strangers are not admitted without difficulty. 

Exchange, with reading-room and cafe, in the New Hotel. 

Baths (comp. p. 21). European Baths at the hotels, and in the Eo- 
setti Garden (Bagni Tosi, kept by a native of Trieste). The best of the 
numerous Arabian Baths are those near the Bab esh-Sha'riyeh (PI. B, 3), 
one at Bulak, and the Mandolfo Baths in the 'Abbasiyeh (also with a 
European bath). 

Booksellers. Kauffmann, in the Muski, an old-established firm. Penas- 
son, Barbier, both in the Ezbekiyeh. Photographs (see below) are also 
sold at Kauffmann 's. — Writing and drawing materials are sold by Kauff- 
mann, Penasson, and Zollikofer, the last in the Muski. Visiting cards may 
be ordered at Zollikofer's and at Boehm-Anderefs, in the Ezbekiyeh. 

Photographs. Schoefft, 'Abbasiyeh Street (Place Faghalla), with a 
good background for groups ; also a fine collection of "groups of natives, 
and a few desert scenes, some of which are very striking (various prices ; 



.3. Route. 235 

a collection of 25, of small size, is sold for 25 fr.). Stromeyer it Heyrnann, 
in the Kantaret ed Dikke (PI. B, 5), with a charming garden and well- 
equipped studio. Laroche & Co., in the Ezbekiyeh Garden. Among the 
numerous photographs of Egyptian landscapes and temples the best are 
those by ~Sebah of Constantinople, which may be purchased at his depot, 
adjoining the French consulate in the Ezbekiyeh, or at Kauffmann's. Br. 
E. Brugsch, the keeper of the Bulak Museum (p. 295), has caused a num- 
ber of the objects in the museum to be photographed. This collection, 
which costs 25 fr. (small size 15 fr.), may be purchased at the museum, 
or at Kauffmann's, but is not sold by the photographers. 

European Wares. All the ordinary wants of the traveller may now 
be supplied at Cairo. Clothing and many other articles, chiefly for the use 
of travellers, are sold by Paschal & Co., P. Cicolani, Mayer & Co., Stein, 
Camoin, the Magasin an Soleil, and the Cordonnerie Francaise, all in the 
Ezbekiyeh, and at the Bazar Universel, opposite the post-office (p. 232). 
Ladies' requirements are sold by Cicile, Camille, and others in the Ezbe- 
kiyeh. Good watchmakers and goldsmiths are Bongerber, beyond the ron- 
deau of the Muski, and Buchsbaum, in the Muski. Optical instruments 
and rifles may also be obtained at the last-named, ammunition at Casse- 
graiwi's und Bajocchi's, both in the Ezbekiyeh. 

Goods Agents. Those who make purchases in Egypt to any consider- 
able extent are recommended to send them home through the medium of 
a goods-agent, in order to avoid custom-house examinations, porterage, and 
various other items of expense and annoyance. The post-office forwards 
parcels not exceeding"71bs. in weight. For larger packages the following 
agents may be employed : Cesare Luzzatto, in the same street as the Hotel 
du Nil ; Drnnbre <fr Levi, in the Muski ; Dagregorio, in the Ezbekiyeh. The 
charges are comparatively 

Hairdressers abound in 
and around the Ezbekiyeh. 
Their charges are usually 
exorbitant, IV2-2V2 fr. being 
charged for hair-cutting, and 
1 fr. for shaving. Most of the 
Arabian Barbers have their 
shops open to the street. 
Their principal occupation 
consists in shaving the heads 
of their customers in Oriental 
fashion, an art in which they 
are very expert. When the 
operation is over, they hold 
a looking-glass before the 
customer, saying — i na'iman\ 
(may it be pleasant to you), 
to which the usual reply is 
— '■Allah yin'im 'aleW (God 
make it pleasant to thee). 

Wine, Preserves, etc., are 
sold by Niccolo Zigada, Mon- 
ferrato, and Dracatos, all 
near Shepheard's Hotel; by 
N. A. Ablitt, in the Muski; 
and by Class & Co. (Fleur- 
ent Bodega) a.niWalker & Co., 
in the Ezbekiyeh. 

Tobacco (comp. p. 27). 
Syrian tobacco (Korani and 

Gebeli) is sold at a shop in the Garni' el-Benat street (p. 272), near the 
Muski, but had better be purchased in small quantities only. Turkish 
tobacco (Stambuli) and cigarettes are sold by Nestor Oianaclis, in the Muski, 
by Voltera Freres, in the same building as the post-office, and by Corlessi, 

236 Route 3. CAIRO. Religious Festivals. 

in the Ezbekiyeh, next door to the Cafe de la Bourse. The last also keeps 
a stock of good cigars, generally of Dutch or German manufacture. Good 
cigars cost 10 fr. per hundred and good tobacco 40 fr. per okka (p. 28). 

Arabian Bazaars, see pp. 23, 251. Near the end of the Muski is a 
shop kept by a Nubian, who sells various Egyptian and Nubian articles, 
suitable for presents. Thus an ostrich-egg costs 3 fr. and upwards, a 
specimen of the fakaka, or ball-fish (p. 84) 3-5 fr., a Nubian lance 1 fr., 
bow with six arrows 12-15 fr., small fiddle 12 fr., square fiddle 20 fr., 
leopard skin 15-30 fr. (the skins, however, are insufficiently tanned, and 
almost entirely stripped of their hair). Unless the proprietor of this shop 
happens to be in want of money, it is difficult to obtain anything from 
him at a reasonable price, and lie sometimes closes his shop entirely. — 
Sticks and whips of Hippopotamus Skin are sold by a Pole (who speaks a 
little Italian) near the Roman Catholic church. 

Arabian Woodwork is sold by "Parvis, an Italian, on the left side of 
a court near the entrance to the Muski. Strangers should not fail to visit 
his interesting workshop, which they may do without making any pur- 
chase. Similar objects may be obtained at a more moderate rate from 
Venisio, opposite Shepheard's Hotel, and Bertini, adjoining the Hotel du 
Nil ; but their workmanship is scarcely so artistic as that of Parvis. 

The dates of the Religious Festivals of the Mohammedans, of which 
Cairo is the principal scene, cannot easily be given according to the Euro- 
pean computation of time, owing to the variable character of the Arabian 
lunar year. Calendars reducing the Mohammedan and Coptic reckoning 
of time to the European system may, however, be obtained at any book- 

The first month of the Arabian year is the Moharrem, the first ten 
days of which ( r ashr), and particularly the 10th (ydm f a$hura), are con- 
sidered holy. On these days alms are distributed, and amulets purchased. 
Mothers, even of the upper classes, carry their children on their should- 
ers, or cause them to be carried, through the streets, and sew into the 
children's caps the copper-coins presented to them by passers-by. On the 
10th Moharrem, the highly revered 'AshHra day, on which Adam and Eve 
are said first to have met after their expulsion from Paradise, on which 
Noah is said to have left the ark, and on which Husen, the grandson of 
the prophet, fell as a martyr to his religion at the battle of Kerbela, the 
Gami' Hasanen (p. 292) is visited by a vast concourse of religious de- 
votees, whose riotous proceedings had better not be inspected except from 
a carriage, especially if ladies are of the party. Troops of Persians in 
long white robes parade the streets, cutting themselves with swords in 
the forehead until the blood streams down and stains their snowy gar- 
ments. Two boys, representing Hasan and Husen, are also led through 
the streets on horseback, with blood-stained clothes. Strangers may also 
obtain admission to the Persian mosque, in which the orgies are continued, 
by special introduction. Towards evening a great zikr of whirling der- 
vishes takes place here (p. 239). 

At the end of Safar, the second month, or at the beginning of Rabi' 
el-awwel, the third', the Mecca Caravan (p. 148) returns home, its ap- 
proach being announced by outriders. Some of the faithful who go to 
meet the procession proceed as far as three days' journey, but most of 
them await its arrival at the Birket el-Ilagg (p. 335), or pilgrims' lake. 
Detached groups of pilgrims occasionally return before the rest of the 
cavalcade, and their arrival is always signalised by the blowing of trum- 
pets and beating of drums. A pyramidal wooden erection, called the 
Malimal, hung with beautifully embroidered stuffs , and carried by a 
camel , accompanies the procession as a symbol of royalty. The interior 
of the Mahmal is empty, and to the outside of it are attached two copies 
of the Koran. The procession usually enters the city by the Bdb en-Nasr 
(p. 280). In l'/2-2 hrs. it reaches the Eumeleh (p. 262), the large open 
space in front of the citadel, from which last twelve cannon-shots are 
fired as a salute. The cortege then sweeps round the Rumeleh, and fin- 
ally enters the citadel by the Bab el-Wezir (PI. E, 2). The departure of 
he pilgrims (p. 238) is attended with similar ceremonies. 

Religious Festivals. CAIRO. 3. Route. '237 

The great festival of the Molid en-Nebi, the birthday of the prophet, 
is celebrated at the beginning of Rabi' el-awwel, the third month. The 
preparations for it begin on the second day of the month, and the most 
important ceremonies take place on the evening of the eleventh. The 
city, and particularly the scene of the festival, is then illuminated by 
means of lamps hung on wooden stands made for the purpose. Proces- 
sions of dervishes (p. 150) parade the streets with flags by day, and with 
lamps hoisted on poles by night. On this evening the sellers of sweet- 
meats frequently exclaim — 'A grain of salt for the eye of him who will 
not bless the prophet!' The D6seh, or ceremony of riding over the der- 
vishes, also took place on the eleventh of this month. Some fifty der- 
vishes or more lay close together on the ground, and allowed the shekh 
of the Sa'diyeh dervishes on horseback to ride over them. Accidents 
rarely happened, although the horse trod on every one of the pro- 
strate figures. During this ceremony the spectators shouted incessantly, 
l Allah-la-la-la-lah-lah ! ' This barbarous custom was forbidden by the 
Khedive Tewfik, and the ceremonies are confined to the procession of the 
Sh6kh and the reading of the Koran in the Khedive's tent. At night 
a great zikr is performed by the dervishes (p. 239). On this festival, as 
on all the other 'molids', the jugglers, buffoons, and other ministers of 
amusement, ply their calling with great success (comp p. 150). 

In the fourth month, that of Rabi' el-Akhw (et-tdni), occurs the pecu- 
liarly solemn festival of the birthday or M6lid of Husin, the prophet's 
grandson, the principal scene of which is the mosque of Hasanen, where 
the head of Husen is said to be interred. This festival lasts fifteen days 
and fourteen' nights, the most important day being always a Tuesday 
(ydm et-teldt). On this occasion the 'Ilwdniyeh Dervishes (p. 150) sometimes 
go through their hideous performance of chewing and swallowing burning 
charcoal and broken glass, and their wild dances. On the chief days of 
this festival, and on their eves, great crowds congregate inland around 
the mosque , and especially by the tomb of Sultan es-Saleh in the 
bazaar of the Nahhasin (p. 256). On these occasions the Koran is read 
aloud to the people,' the streets adjoining the mosque are' illuminated, 
the shops are kept open, and story-tellers, jugglers, and others of the 
same class attract numerous patrons. 

In the middle of Regeb, the seventh month, is the MSlid of Seiyideh 
ZSnab ('Our Lady Zenab'), the grand-daughter of the prophet. The fes- 
tival, which lasts fourteen days, the most important being a Tuesday, is 
celebrated at the mosque of the Seiyideh Zenab (p. 268), where she is said 
to be buried. 

On the 27th of this month is the Lelel el-Mi'rdg, or night of the as- 
cension of the prophet, the celebration of which takes place outside the 
Bab el- r Adawi, in the N. suburb of Cairo. 

On the first, or sometimes on the second, Wednesday of Sha'bdn, the 
eighth month, the Mdlid of Imdrn, Shdfe'i is commemorated, the centre of 
attraction being the burial-place of El-Karafeh (p. 327). This festival 
is numerously attended, as most of the 'Cairenes belong to the sect of 
Imam Shafe'i (p. 149). The ceremonies are the same as those at the 
other molids. 

The month of Ramaddn (p. 148), the ninth, is the month of fasting, 
which begins as soon as a Muslim declares that he has seen the new 
moon. The fast is strictly observed during the day, but the faithful in- 
demnify themselves by eating, drinking, and smoking throughout the 
greater part of the night. At dusk the streets begin to be thronged, the 
story-tellers at the cafes attract large audiences, and many devotees as- 
semble at the mosques. The eve of the 27th of the month is considered 
peculiarly holy. It is called the Lelet el-Kadr, or 'night of value', owing 
to the tradition that the Koran was sent down to Mohammed on this 
night. During this sacred night the angels descend to mortals with bless- 
ings, and the portals of heaven stand open, affording certain admission to 
the prayers of the devout. On this night the traveller should visit the 
Hasanen mosque, or, especially if accompanied by ladies, that of Moham- 
med f Ali (p. 263) in the citadel, in order to see the great zikrs of the 

238 Route 3. CAIRO. Religious Festivals. 

whirling and howling dervishes, of whom some thirty or forty take part 
in the performances. The scene is of an exciting, but somewhat painful 
character, particularly if any of the performers become 'melb&s', a con- 
dition resembling that of epileptic convulsion (p. 152). 

The month Ramadan is succeeded by that of Shawwdl, on the first 
three days of which is celebrated the first and minor festival of rejoicing, 
called by the Arabs El-' Id es-Sughayyir (the lesser feast), but better 
known by its Turkish name of Beir&m. The object of the festival is to 
give expression to the general rejoicing at the termination of the fast; 
and, as at our Christmas, parents give presents to their children, and 
masters to their servants at this festive season. Friends embrace each 
other on meeting, and visits of ceremony are exchanged. During this fes- 
tival the Khedive also receives his principal officials, ambassadors, and 
other dignitaries. 

At this season the traveller may also pay a visit to the cemetery by 
the Bab en-Nasr, or to one of the others, where numerous Cairenes assemble 
to place palm branches or basilicum (rihdn) on the graves of their deceased 
relatives, and to distribute dates, bread, and other gifts among the poor. 

A few days after the Beiram , the pieces of the Kisweh, or covering 
manufactured at Constantinople, at the cost of the Sultan, for the Ka'ba 
(the most sacred sanctuary in the interior of the temple at Mecca), whither 
it is annually carried by the pilgrims, are conveyed in procession to 
the citadel, where they are sewn together and lined. The ceremonies 
which take place on this occasion are repeated on a grander scale towards 
the end of the month of Shawwdl (generally the 23rd), when there is a 
gay procession of the escort which accompanies the pilgrimage caravan 
to Mecca, and which takes charge of the Mahmal (p. 236). On this oc- 
casion every true believer in the prophet, if he possibly can, spends the 
whole day in the streets. The women don their smartest attire. Many 
of the harem windows are opened, and the veiled inmates gaze into the 
streets. The chief scene of the ceremonies is the Rumeleh (PI. F, 2), at 
the foot of the citadel, where a sumptuous tent of red velvet and gold is 
pitched for the reception of the dignitaries. The procession is headed 
with soldiers, who are followed by camels adorned with gaily coloured 
trappings, and bearing on their humps bunches of palm-branches with 
oranges attached. Each section of the cavalcade is preceded by an 
Arabian band of music, the largest section being that which accompanies 
the Takht Rawdn, or litter of the Emir el-Hagg, and the next in order 
that of the Delil el-Hagg, or leader of the pilgrims, with his attendants. 
Next follow various detachments of pilgrims and dervishes with banners, 
and lastly the Mahmal (see above). A picturesque appearance is presented 
by the camp of the assembled pilgrims (Haggi) at the Birket el-Hagg 
(p. 335), whence the caravan finally starts for Mecca. 

On the 10th of Dhul-higgeh, the twelfth month, begins the great fes- 
tival of El-'Id el-Keblr, which resembles the lesser feast (el-'id es-sug- 
hayyir) already mentioned. On this day, if on no other throughout the 
year, every faithful Muslim eats a piece of meat in memory of the sacri- 
fice of Abraham, and the poor are presented with meat for this purpose 
by the rich. 

The Muslims also celebrate the Christian Easter Week, although in a 
different manner, and of course for different reasons from the Christians. On 
Palm Sunday (had el-khus) the women bind palm twigs round their heads 
and fingers. On the following day (Monday) it is customary to eat fakHs 
(cucumbers) with cummin. On the Tuesday the diet of the faithful con- 
sists of a kind of cheese-broth with onions, and the day is therefore call- 
ed yom el-mish waH-basal ('cheese-soup-and-onion-day'). Wednesday is 
called arba' Eyfib, or 'Job's Wednesday 1 . On this day the ghubera herb 
is said to have addressed to Job the words — 'Wash thyself with my 
juice, and thou shalt recover'. He did so, and recovered, and to this 
day the whole of the Egyptian Muslims wash themselves with gharghara 
EyAb in memory of the miracle. Maundy Thursday is the Pea-Thursday 
of the Muslims (khamis el-bisilla). Good Friday is called gum'a el-mafrH- 
ka, or 'day o l:e butter-cakes'. Saturday is the sebt en-ntir or 'sabbath 

Dervishes. CAIRO. 3. Route. 239 

of light' (so named from the sacred Are which on this day bursts forth 
from the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem). On this day it is customary for 
the Muslims to use a kind of eye-powder for the purpose of strengthening 
their eyes, to get themselves bled, and to eat coloured Easter eggs. On 
Easter Sunday ( r id en-nusdra) the Mohammedans usually visit their 
Christian friends, and these visits are returned during the feast of Beiram. 

With the Rising of the Nile there are also connected several inter- 
esting festivals, closely resembling those of the ancient period of the 
Pharaohs, which even the Christian epoch was unable entirely to ob- 
literate. As, however, they take place in summer, few travellers will 
have an opportunity of witnessing them. As these festivals have refer- 
ence to a regularly recurring phenomenon of nature, their dates are ne- 
cessarily fixed in accordance with the Coptic solar reckoning of time, in- 
stead of the variable Arabian lunar year. — The night of the 11th of the 
Coptic month Ba'una (17th June) is called Lelel en-Nukta, i.e. the 'night 
of the drop', as it is believed that a drop from heaven (or a tear of Isis, 
according to the ancient Egyptian myth) falls into the Nile on this night 
and causes its rise. The astrologers profess to calculate precisely the 
hour of the fall of the sacred drop. The Cairenes spend this night on 
the banks of the Nile, either in the open air, or in the houses of friends 
near the river, and practise all kinds of superstitious customs. One of 
these consists in the placing of a piece of dough by each member of a 
family on the roof of the house ; if the dough rises, happiness is in store 
for the person who placed it there, while its failure to rise is regarded 
as a had omen. On 21st June the river begins slowly to rise (comp. 
p. 57). On the 27th of the Coptic month Ba'una (3rd July) the Mun&di 
en-Nil, or Nile-crier, is frequently heard in the morning, announcing to 
the citizens the number of inches that the river has risen. The munadi 
is accompanied by a boy, with whom he enters on a long religious dia- 
logue by way of preface to his statements, which, however, are generally 
inaccurate. The next important event is the Gutting of the Bam (ydm 
gebr el-bahr, or ydm we/a el-bahr), which takes place between the 1st and 
the 14th of the Coptic month of Misra (i. e. between 6th and 19th August), 
when the principal ceremonies are performed on and near the island of 
Eoda (p. 318). The Nile-crier, attended by boys carrying flags, announces 
the Wefa en-Nil (the plenitude, or superfluity of the Nile), or period when 
the water has reached its normal height of sixteen ells (p. 58). The cut- 
ting through of the dam takes place amid general rejoicings and noisy 
festivities. It appears from inscriptions on columns found on the Nile 
near the Gehel Selseleh, that similar festivals connected with the rise of 
the river were celebrated as early as the 14th cent, before Christ. 

Dervishes (comp. p. 150). The 'Dancing Dervishes' perform their 
'zikr' in the Tekiyet el-Maulawiyeh (p. 265) every Friday from 2 to 3 p.m. ; 
visitors walk in and take their seats outside the space enclosed by boards, 
no permission being necessary (bakshish of 1-2 piastres on leaving). A 
visit may be paid in the same way to the performances of the 'Howling 
Dervishes', whose zikr takes place in the Garni' Kasr el- r Ain (p. 317), 
also on Fridays from 2 to 3 p.m. Both these curious scenes may be wit- 
nessed on the same day if the traveller goes early to one of them , leaves 
after 25min., and then visits the other, thus seeing quite enough of each. 

Sights and Disposition of Time. 
The duration of the traveller's stay at Cairo depends of course 
on his own inclination and the objects he has in view. He may 
wish to devote his attention chiefly to the mosques, or to the street- 
scenes ; he may endeavour to find his way through the intricacies 
of the city alone, or with the assistance of a donkey-hoy, or he may 
prefer to hire a carriage and a commissionnaire. By carefully pre- 
paring a plan beforehand, and starting early every morning, the 

240 Route 3. CAIRO. Disposition of Time. 

traveller may succeed in visiting all the chief objects of interest in 
six days, but it need hardly be said that a satisfactory insight into 
Oriental life can not be obtained without a stay of several weeks. 

Principal attractions when time is limited : — (a) In the Town. 
Street-scenes (p. 244); Ezbekiyeh Garden (p. 258); Citadel (p. 262), 
either about sunset, or before 11 a.m.; Tombs of the Khalifs 
(p. 282) and Mamelukes (p. 327) ; the mosques of Sultan Hasan 
(p. 260), 'Ami (p. 324) at Old Cairo, Ibn Tulun (p. 265), Kalaun 
(p. 275), Barkukiyeh (p. 278), and El-Azhar (p. 287), the last 
being shown only by permission obtained through the traveller's 
consulate ; Bab en-Nasr (p. 280) ; Museum at Bulak (p. 295). — 
(b) In the Environs (by carriage). Pyramids of Gizeh (p. 340) ; 
Heliopolis (p. 333) ; Shubra Avenue (p. 330) ; Tombs of Apis and 
the Mastaba of Sakkara (p. 371). 

The above outline will serve as a guide to those who are pressed 
for time ; a more leisurely visit may be arranged as follows : — • 

First Day. Forenoon (by carriage, or on donkey-back): *Citadel 
(p. 262), with *View of Cairo, and visit to the Garni' Mohammed 
'Ali; Garni' Sultan Hasan (p. 260); Garni' ibn Tulun (p. 265); 
Bab ez-Zuweleh (p. 272); Garni' el-Muaiyad (p. 272); street and 
mosque of El-Ghuri (p. 274). — Afternoon: drive on the' Abbasiyeh 
road to Kubbeh, Matariyeh, the Virgin's Tree, and Heliopolis (p. 332). 

Second Day. Forenoon (on donkey-back) : Bazaars (to which a 
whole day may also be devoted on foot); Muristan Kalaun (p. 275) ; 
tomb - mosque of the sultan Mohammed en-Nasir ibn Kalaun 
(p. 277); Garni' Barkukiyeh (p. 278); Garni' el-Hakim (p. 279); 
Bab en-Nasr (p. 280) ; Tombs of the Khalifs (p. 282). — After- 
noon (by carriage): Nile Bridge (p. 328; closed from 1 to 3 
p. m.) ; garden and palace of Gezireh (p. 329 ; admission by tickets 
procured at the traveller's consulate). 

Third Day. Forenoon: Museum of Bulak (p. 295). — After- 
noon (on donkey-back , starting early in winter) : Moses' Spring 
and the smaller Petrified Forest (p. 337), returning by the Mo- 
kattam (view of Cairo by sunset), and past the Citadel (p. 336). 

Fourth Day. Forenoon : Mosques of El-Azhar (p. 287) and 
Hasanen (p. 292), most conveniently visited in succession, as both 
are shown by special permission only, and with the escort of a 
kawwas. The same remark applies to the Garni' Seiyideh Zenab 
(p. 268), a visit to which, however, had perhaps better be omitted, 
as its situation is somewhat remote. The mosque of El-Azhar 
should not be visited on a Friday, as there is no teaching on that 
day, and the traveller would thus miss one of the chief attractions. 
— Afternoon (by carriage) : Old Cairo (p. 317) and the island of 
Roda (p. 318) ; Babylon with the early Christian churches (p. 320); 
the Garni' 'Ami (p. 324) ; also, if time permit, the Imam Shafe'i, 
Hosh el-Basha (p. 327), and the Tombs of the Mamelukes, after 
which we return by the quarter of the Tulunides (p. 265). 

History. CAIRO. 3. Route. 24 1 

Fifth Day (by carriage) : Pyramids of Gizeh (p. 340 ; which 
may be seen in the course of a forenoon, if necessary) ; visit Shubra, 
if time remains , in the afternoon , with Cicolani's Gardens in the 
Shubra Avenue. 

Sixth Dat (by railway and on donkey-back) : Memphis and 
Sakkara (p. 371). 

Seventh Day (by railway) : Baths of Helwan (p. 403), and 
(on donkey-back) quarries of Tura and Ma'sara (p. 405). 

Eighth Day (by railway) : Barrage du Nil (p. 406). 

The above itinerary will on the whole be found the most con- 
venient, although some rideTs will perhaps consider several of the 
days somewhat too fatiguing. 

The following places deserve repeated visits : — the Museum 
at Bulak ; the Citadel, or the windmill-hill at the E. end of the 
Rue Neuve (prolongation of the Muski), for the sake of the view of 
the Tombs of the Khalifs and the hills of Mokattam ; the Tombs of 
the Khalifs ; the Ezbekiyeh Garden ; the Shubra Avenue, on a 
Friday ; the Bazaars (and street-traffic), on a Thursday. 

Special permission is necessary for the following places : — 

(a) From the Wakf Office (p. 259), through the consulate, for 
all the mosques, including the Tombs of the Khalifs and the Mame- 
lukes (pp. 282, 327). Fridays and festivals are unsuitable days for 
a visit to the mosques. The kawwas of the consulate who escorts 
the visitors usually receives a fee of 5 fr. 

(b) From the minister of war, through the consulate, for the 
Garni' Salaheddin Yiisuf (p. 264), the Garni' Suleman Pasha (p. 264), 
and the fortifications at the Barrage du Nil (p. 406). 

(c) From the master of the ceremonies, through the consulate, 
for the gardens and chateau of Gezireh (p. 328). 

(d) An introduction from the consulate is also requisite in order 
to procure admission to the house of the Shekh es-Sadad, the re- 
presentative of the descendants of Mohammed. 

History of Cairo. When Egypt was conquered by Canibyses (B.C. 
525) the Babylonians are said to have founded New Babylon on the site 
now occupied by Old Cairo, and during the Roman period that city be- 
came the headquarters of one of the three legions stationed in Egypt. 
Remains of the Roman easirum are still preserved here. In A.D. 638 
New Babylon was captured by 'Amr ibn el-'Asi, the general of Khalif 
'Omar; and when he started on his victorious progress towards Alexan- 
dria, he commanded the tent (fostat) he had occupied during the siege to 
be taken down. As it was discovered, however, that a pigeon had built 
her nest upon it, 'Amr ordered the tent to be left standing until the 
young birds should take wing. After the capture of Alexandria, 'Amr 
requested the Khalif to allow him to take up his residence there, but 
'Omar refused to accord permission, as Alexandria appeared to him 
to be rife with elements of discord, and, moreover, too far distant 
from the centre of the conquered country to be suitable for its capital. 
'Amr accordingly returned to his tent, around which his adherents en 
camped. A new city thus gradually sprang up, and the name of Fostat 
continued to be applied to it in memory of its origin. 'Amr afterwards 
erected a mosque (p. 324), and he is also said to have begun the con- 

Baedekf.r's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 1(5 

242 Route 3. CAIRO. History. 

struction of the canal (Khalig), which, leaving the Nile opposite the is- 
land of Roda, intersects the town, and is supposed to have been intended 
to connect the Nile with the Red Sea. The city was considerably ex- 
tended in the reign of the splendour-loving Ahmed ibn TuMn, the founder 
of the dynasty of the Tulunides, who erected the new quarter of El- 
Khatiya, to the S.W. of the present citadel. Among the buildings ascribed 
to him is the mosque (p. 265) which still bears his name. The town of 
Fostat. was favoured by his successors also , and particularly by his son 
KhdniarAyeh , who erected a palace here; and at length, under the 
Fatimite Khalifs (p. 102), the modern city of Cairo was built adjacent to 
the old. The new city was founded by J6har, the general of the Fatimite 
Khalif Mu'izz, to the N. of El-Khatiya, as a residence for the khalif, and 
as barracks for the soldiers commanded by him. At the hour when the 
foundation of the walls was laid, the planet Mars, which the Arabs call 
Kahir, or 'the victorious', crossed the meridian of the new city ; and 
Mu'izz accordingly named the place Masr el-Kdhira, or Kdhira. Masr, the 
name of Egypt or of its capital, seems 'also already to have been applied 
to Fostat, which, to distinguish it from Masr el-Kahira, was now called 
Masr el-'Atika (the present Old Cairo). The'new 'town extended rapidly. 
Bricks were' easily made of the Nile mud, the Mokattam hills afforded 
excellent stone, while the gigantic ruins of the ancient Memphis on 
the opposite bank of the river were also used as a quarry, as the 
foundations of the houses still show. In 973 the new city of Cairo was 
constituted the capital of Egypt, and for many centuries after that period 
the destinies of the country were determined here. In 1166 the citadel 
which still commands the city was erected by Salaheddin (Saladin) on the 
slope of the Mokattam hills ; and the same sultan caused the whole town, 
together with the "citadel itself, to be enclosed by a wall, 29,000 ells in 
length. Under his luxurious and extravagant successors Cairo was greatly 
extended and magnificently embellished. According to the Arabian his- 
torians, the most enterprising of these sultans was Mohammed en-Nasir 
(d. 1341), who constructed numerous handsome edifices both within and 
without the citadel, as well as canals and roads, thus converting the ruins 
and sand-hills in the environs into beautiful suburbs, with palaces and 
pleasure-grounds. At that period, however, Cairo was fearfully devastated 
by the plague, as it had been on two former occasions (in 1067 and 1295), 
and was also several times subsequently ; and, according to Makrizi, no 
fewer than 900,000(?) persons died in Old and New Cairo between Novem- 
ber, 1348, and Jannary, 1349. The town suffered severely in other ways 
also, and indeed its whole history, so far as recorded, like that of the 
sultans and the Mamelukes themselves, seems to have presented an 
almost continuous succession of revolutions, rapine, and bloodshed. As 
most of the Mameluke sultans who resided in the citadel died a violent 
death, so the reign of almost every new potentate began with bitter and 
sanguinary contests among the emirs for the office of vizier, while but 
few reigns were undisturbed by insurrections in the capital. During the 
third regime of Mohammed en-Nasir, who had been twice deposed", and 
as often recovered his throne, a persecution of the Christians took place 
at Cairo. The Christians, of whom great numbers resided in Cairo and 
throughout the whole of Egypt, were accused by the people of incen- 
diarism. Their churches were accordingly closed or demolished, while 
they themselves were so ill-treated and oppressed, especially in the reign 
of Sultan Saleh (1351-54), that many of them are said to have embraced 
Islamism. ' In 1366 and 1367, in the reign of Sultan Sha'bdn, sanguinary 
conflicts took place in the streets of Cairo between hostile parties of 
Mamelukes, and in 1377 Sha'ban himself was tortured and strangled in 
the citadel. Even greater disorders attended the dethronement of Sultan 
BarkHk (1389), when the wildest anarchy prevailed at Cairo, the convicts 
escaped from their prisons, and in concert with the populace plundered 
the houses of the emirs and the public magazines. The following year 
a rebellion again broke out among the Mamelukes , who stormed the 
citadel, in consequence of which Barkuk regained possession of the 
throne, and celebrated his triumphal entry into Cairo. Scarcely, however, 

History. CAIRO. 3. Route. 243 

had he closed his eyes and been succeeded by Farag, when the Mame- 
lukes again revolted, and renewed conflicts took place for possession of 
the citadel, during which the city was partly plundered. Similar scenes 
were repeated on almost every change of government. The turbulence of 
the Mamelukes, who were always treated with too much consideration by 
the sultans, now became more and more unbearable ; they robbed the 
people in the markets, assaulted citizens in the public streets, and grossly 
insulted respectable women. Hitherto the outrages committed by these 
troops had been chiefly connected with some political object, but from 
the middle of the 15th century downwards they were generally perpetrat- 
ed with a view to plunder. Thus in 1458, when fires repeatedly broke 
out at Cairo and Bulak, it was generally believed that the Mamelukes 
had caused them in order to obtain opportunities for robbery. In the 
course of the following year they forcibly entered the mosque of 'Amr at 
Old Cairo on a Friday, and robbed the numerous women who were then 
attending divine service. In the sultanate of Khoshkadem (1461-67) the 
Mamelukes plundered the bazaars of Old Cairo, and in the reign of Mo- 
hammed (1496-98), son of Kait-Bey, they roved through the streets at 
night, maltreated the police', and plundered various quarters of the city. 
In 1496, when rival emirs were almost daily fighting in the streets of 
Cairo, the Mamelukes of course utilised the opportunity for plunder. 

On 26th Jan. 1517, the Osman Sultan Selim I., after having gained a 
victory in the neighbourhood of Cairo, entered the city. Tdman Bey, 
the last Mameluke sultan, again gained possession of the ill-guarded town 
on 28th Jan., but was obliged to evacuate it on the following day, and 
was taken prisoner and executed (p. 272). Before Selim returned to Con- 
stantinople , he caused the finest marble columns which adorned the 
palace in the citadel to be removed to his own capital. Thence- 
forward Cairo became a mere provincial capital, and its history is al- 
most an entire blank down to the period of the French expedition. On 
22nd July, 1798, after the Battle of the Pyramids, Cairo was occupied by 
Bonaparte, who established his headquarters here for several months, and 
who quelled with sanguinary severity an insurrection which broke out 
among the populace on 23rd-25th September. At the beginning of the 
year 1799 Bonaparte started from Cairo on his Syrian expedition, and on 
his return to France, Kl^ber was left as commander-in-chief of the French 
troops at Cairo, where he was assassinated on 14th June , 1800. In 
1801 the French garrison under Belliard, being hard pressed by tbe grand 
vizier, was compelled to capitulate. On 3rd August, 1805, Mohammed 
'Alt, as the recognised pasha of Egypt, took possession of the citadel, 
which for the last time witnessed a bloody scene on 1st March, 1811, 
when the Mameluke Beys were massacred by Mohammed's order. Since 
then nothing has interrupted the peaceful development of the city. 

Cairo, Kahira, or Masr el-Kahira ('Masr the victorious', Masr 
being the ancient Semitic name for Egypt; p. 30), or symply 
Masr or Misr, is situated in 30°6' N. latitude, and 31° 26' E. lon- 
gitude, on the right hank of the Nile, about 9 M. to the S. of the 
so-called 'cow's belly', the point where the stream divides into the 
Rosetta and Damietta arms, and has not inaptly been styled 'the 
diamond stud on the handle of the fan of the Delta'. On the E. side 
of the city, which covers an area of about 11 square miles, rise 
the barren, reddish cliffs of the Mokattam Hills (p. 335), about 
650 ft. in height, which form the commencement of the eastern 
desert. The city has extended so much towards the west of late 
years that it now reaches the bank of the river and has entirely ab- 
sorbed Bulak (p. 293), which was formerly its harbour. 

Cairo is the largest city in Africa, as well as in the Arabian 
regions, and is the second city in the Turkish empire. It is the 


244 Route 3. CAIRO. Population. 

residence of the Khedive, and of the ministers and principal au- 
thorities, and is presided over by a governor of its own. Owing 
to the secluded habits of the Mohammedan families, and in 
consequence of the fact that a large section of the lower classes of 
the community have no fixed abode, it is a very difficult matter to 
ascertain the number of the inhabitants with even approximate 
precision. Judging from the average annual number of births in 
Egypt and at Cairo, the population of the city may be estimated 
at 400,000 souls , although at the census of 1882 it was returned 
as 368, 108 only. The number of resident Europeans is about 21,000, 
including 7000 Italians, 4200 Greeks, 4000 French, 1600 English, 
1600 Austrians, and 1200 Germans. Natives of all the principal 
Oriental states are also to be found at Cairo. The mass of the 
population consists of Egypto- Arabian townspeople (p. 48), Fellah 
settlers (p. 39) , Copts (p. 42) , Turks (p. 52), and Jews (p. 53)', 
the last of whom number 7000 souls. Besides the natives and the 
European residents, the traveller will frequently encounter negroes 
of various races, Northern Africans, Beduins, Syrians, Persians, 
Indians, and other Oriental settlers. 

The Hospitals mentioned at p. 234 are fitted up in the European 
style, and so likewise is the Military School [Ecoles Militaires ; 
in the r Abbastyeh), with its four departments (staff, artillery, ca- 
valry, and infantry), connected with which there is a Veterinary 
School. Cairo also possesses a Girls' School, maintained by govern- 
ment (founded through the exertions of Dr. Dor, a Swiss) , and a 
Chemical-Pharmaceutical Laboratory, presided over by M. Gastinel, 
and possessing an excellent pharmaceutical collection. The medi- 
cines required for all the hospitals in the country are prepared at 
the laboratory, and the yield of the 12 saltpetre manufactories of 
Egypt (about 1000 tons per annum) is tested here. 

The Police Force (Zabtlyeh, PI. 86), an admirably organised in- 
stitution, consists of about 300 officials, including a number of Euro- 
peans (chiefly Italians) , who are very obliging to strangers , and 
who preside so effectually over the public safety that the traveller 
may explore the remotest and dirtiest purlieus of the city without 
apprehension of danger. If, however, he should have any cause 
for complaint, he should lay the matter before his consulate (p. 6). 

The **Street Scenes presented by the city of the Khalifs afford 
an inexhaustible fund of amusement and delight, admirably 
illustrating the whole world of Oriental fiction , and producing an 
indelible impression on the uninitiated denizen of the West. 
'What makes Cairo so romantic and novel is the contrasts of bar- 
barous and civilised scenes and incidents it presents, which forcibly 
strike and interest even the most utterly blase European, and 
which recur in every department and phase of life in this Arabian 
capital of the desert, and indeed throughout all Egypt. Cairo may 
be compared to a mosaic of the most fantastic and bizarre descrip- 

Street Scenes. CAIRO. 3. Route. 245 

tion, in which all nations, customs, and epochs are represented, 
— a living museum of all imaginable and unimaginable phases 
of existence, of refinement and degeneracy, of civilisation and 
barbarism, of knowledge and ignorance, of paganism, Christianity, 
and Mohammedanism. In the Boulevards of Paris and on London 
Bridge I saw but the shadow, and at Alexandria the prelude only, 
of the Babel of Cairo, to which the Roman or the Venetian carnival 
is tame and commonplace. These marvellous scenes cannot fail to 
strike every one, and particularly the uninitiated new-comer, most 
forcibly. In order to enjoy them thoroughly, one cannot help 
wishing for eyes behind , as well as before , and for the steady power 
of forcing one's way possessed by the camel of burden'. (B. Goltz.) 
There is, however, no great difficulty in forcing one's way through 
the crowd in the Muski, although the chaotic, carnival-like scene 
which it presents can hardly be depicted in too bright colours. 

Most of the streets in the old part of the town are still un- 
paved and inaccessible to carriages, and they are too often 
excessively dirty. The Khedive, however, is annually increasing 
the number of carriage-ways by the demolition of old streets and 
the erection of buildings in the modern style. The lanes separat- 
ing the rows of houses in the Arabian quarter are so narrow that 
there is hardly Toom for two riders to pass, and the projecting 
balconies of the harems with their gratings often nearly meet. The 
new quarter on the W. side of the city possesses broad, shadeless 
streets , handsome avenues , and the beautiful Ezbekiyeh Garden 
(p. 258) ; but Oriental life seems to find this atmosphere uncon- 
genial, and it must therefore besought for in the old quarters, and 
particularly in the Muski, the chief business thoroughfare. The busy 
traffic in this street often presents an 'interminable, ravelled, and 
twisted string of men, women, and animals, of walkers, riders, and 
carriages of every description. Add to this the cracking of the 
drivers' whips, the jingling of money at the table of the changers 
established at every corner of the street, the rattling of the brazen 
vessels of the water-carriers, the moaning of the camels, braying 
of donkeys, and barking of dogs, and you have a perfect pande- 
monium'. Europeans, and even ladies, may ride with perfect safety 
through the midst of all this confusion, and they will often have 
opportunities of observing most picturesque and amusing scenes. 
The denseness of the crowd sometimes seems to preclude the pos- 
sibility of farther progress, but the hammar, or donkey-boy , is 
pretty sure to elbow a passage without much difficulty. 

'Having carefully learned the expressions ana 'dwiz humdr (I want a 
donkey) and bikam kirsh deh (how many piastres), I yielded to the temp- 
tation of plunging recklessly into the thick of Arabian life, its conversation, 
and its equestrianism. I therefore pronounced the mystic words with the 
satisfaction of a child which utters articulate expressions for the first time ; 
and when I was instantly so perfectly understood by a score of donkey- 
boys that they all offered me their donkeys at once (though perhaps 
they would have done so had I not spoken at all), I felt like a magician 

246 Route 3. CAIRO. Street Scenes. 

who has succeeded in discovering an effectual formula of conjuration. 
After this display of my abilities, I vaulted into the saddle with as much 
ease and assurance as if Cairo had been my home. The donkey-boy next 
probably asked me — 'where to'? Whereupon, feeling that my stock of 
Arabic phrases and cabalistic formulae was nearly exhausted, I replied 
in a very abbreviated style — kullo, kullo, that is, 'everything' (meaning 
that I wanted to see everything). The donkey-boy then nodded his tayyib 
ana are/ ('all right, I understand 1 ), and I now felt perfect confidence in 
my powers of speech. . . . My donkey now set off at a gallop and plunged 
into the midst of a labyrinth of lanes full of riders and walkers, but 
where I was going to, or how far, or why, I was unable to tell. That, 
however, was precisely the joke of the thing'. (Ooltz.) 

Lovers of the picturesque will find such rides very enjoyable. 
When they have sufficiently explored the narrower streets, they 
may direct their attendant to return to the Muski ('lil Muski, ya 
hammar'), whence the hotels are easily reached. 

It is not, however, until the traveller has learned to distinguish 
the various individuals who throng the streets, and knows their 
different pursuits, that he can thoroughly appreciate his walks or 
rides. We may therefore give a brief description of some of the 
leading characteristics of the different members of the community. 
The traveller will probably first be struck with the differences of 
colour in the Turbans. From a very early period it has been cus- 
tomary for the Arabs to distinguish their different sects, families, 
and dynasties by the colour of their turbans. Green turbans form 
the badge of the 'Sherifs', or descendants of the prophet, and they 
are also frequently worn by the Mecca pilgrims, green being also 
the colour of the banner of the prophet. The 'Ulama, or clergy 
and scholars, usually wear a very wide and broad, evenly folded 
turban of light colour. The orthodox length of a believer's turban 
is seven times that of his head, being equivalent to the whole 
length of his body, in order that the turban may afterwards be 
used as the wearer's winding sheet, and that this circumstance 
may familiarise him with the thought of death. The dress and 
turbans of the Copts, Jews, and other non-Muslim citizens, are 
generally of a dark colour, those of the Copts being blue, and 
those of the Jews yellow, in accordance with a decree issued in 
the 14th century (p. 242). Blue is also the colour indicative of 
mourning. The Women of the poorer and rustic classes wear no- 
thing but a blue gown and a veil. Their ornaments consist of silver 
or copper bracelets, earrings, and ankle-rings, while their chins, 
arms , and chests are often tatooed with blue marks. In Upper 
Egypt nose-rings are also frequently seen. The women of the 
upper classes are never so handsomely dressed in the streets as 
at home. Their figures, in early life, are generally upright and 
graceful. They colour their eyelashes and eyelids dark, and their 
finger and toe-nails with henna, which gives them a brownish 
yellow tint. When equipped for riding or walking, most ladies 
wear a light-coloured silk cloak, with very wide sleeves (tob or 
sebleh), over their home attire. They also don the burko', or veil, 

Street Scenes. 


3. Route. 247 

which consists of a long strip of muslin, covering the whole of the 
face except the eyes, and reaching nearly to the feet. Lastly they 
put on the habara , a kind of mantle , which in the case of mar- 
ried women consists of two breadths of 
glossy black silk. Thus disguised, they 
look unnaturally broad and unwieldy , and. 
not unlike bats. The wealthier ladies, who 
drive in their carriages attended by eunuchs, 
usually veil their faces up to their eyes 
with thin gauze in accordance with the 
fashion of Constantinople. With regard to 
circumcision, weddings, and funerals, the 
ceremonies attending which are similar in 
all the Egyptian towns, see p. 153. Among 
other customs we may also mention the 
peculiar mode in which a woman carries her 
child, either astride her shoulder, or rest- 
ing on her hip. 

Amid this busy throng of men and ani- 
mals resound the various cries of street-ven- 
dors and other persons who transact their 
business in the open air , and the warning 
shouts of outrunners (sais), coachmen, don- 
key-attendants , and cam el- drivers. The 
words most commonly heard are ■ — • 'riglak', 
'shemdlak\ 'yenunak', 'guarda\ 'ud, ti'd'. 
As a rule, however, the Cairenes pay no 
attention to these warnings unless address- 
ed to them individually. Thus , 'riglak yd 
khawdgeh' ('your foot, sir', i.e. Hake care of 
your foot' ; khawdgeh is the usual title given 
to Europeans by the Arabs , and is said to 
have originally meant 'merchant' only) ; 
'shemdlakyd shekh'('yo\u\eit side, chief); 
'yenunak yd bint' ('your right side, girl') ; 
'dahrik yd sitt' ('your back , lady') ; 'yd 
'aruseh' (bride); 'yd sherlf (descendant of the 
prophet); 'yd efendV (Turkish official). — 

Beggars are very numerous at Cairo, most 

of them being blind. They endeavour to -~="7^^s^T7" 
excite compassion by invoking the aid of 

Allah : 'yd Mohannin, yd Rabb' ('0 awakener of pity, Master') ; 
'tdlib min alldh hakk lukmet 'esK ('I seek from my Lord the price 
of a morsel of bread') ; 'and def Allah wdn-nebi ('I am the guest 
of God and of the Prophet'). The usual answer of the passer-by is, 
'Allah yihannin 'aleV ('God will have mercy on you') , or 'Allah 
ya'tik' ('God give thee'; comp. p. 16). 

248 Route 3. 


Street Scenes. 

One of the most popular characters to be met with in the streets 
of Cairo is the Sakka, or Water-Carrier, with his goatskin of 
water, carried either by himself or by a donkey, who still plies his 
trade, although the new waterworks (p. 381) could easily supply 
every house in the city, as well as the public sebils (p. 177), with 
water , and though on many of the houses there are brass tubes 
through which passers-by may take a draught from the main pipes. 
His usual cry is — 'yd 'auwad Allah'' ('may God recompense me'). 
The labour he undergoes during eight months in the year, when 
he brings his heavy load all the way from the Nile, is very severe 
and miserably underpaid ; but during the four months when the 
river is rising he obtains his supply from the canal by which Cairo 

is intersected. The springs, 
being generally brackish, are 
not suitable for drinking. Many 
of the sakkas sell water to 
the people in the streets. These 
are known as 'sakka sharbeti, 
and they carry their supply of 
water either in a skin or in a 
large earthen-ware vessel on 
their backs. They offer adraught 
to passers-by in a brazen saucer 
or in a kulleh (porous bottle), 
for which they receive a small 
copper coin, and sometimes no 
payment at all. On the occasion 
of festivals, and particularly on 
the molids(birthdays) of saints, 
persons who desire to do a 
pious work frequently hire one 
of the sakkas to dispense water gratuitously. The sakka then 
shouts in a singing tone, 'sebll Allah ya'atshan yd moyeh\ thus in- 
viting all thirsty persons to drink gratuitously ; while he occasion- 
ally turns to his employer, who generally stands near him, with 
the words, 'God forgive thy sins, dispenser of the drink-offering', 
or 'God have mercy on thy parents', to which the persons who 
have partaken of the water reply, 'amtn' (amen), or 'God have 
meTcy on them and on us'. After numerous blessings of a similar 
kind have been interchanged, the sakka hands the last cup of water 
to his employer, with the words, 'The remainder for the liberal 
man, and Paradise for the confessor of the Unity ! God bless thee, 
thou dispenser of the drink-offering!' 

The Hemali, who belong to one of the orders of dervishes 
(p. 151), are also engaged in selling water, which they fla- 
vour with orange-blossom (zahr), while others add a little brandy 
f'erk-sus) or grape-juice (zebib). There are also numerous itin- 

Street Scenes. 


3. Route. 249 

erant vendors of different kinds of sweetmeats, which to Europeans 
look very uninviting. Thus , sahlab is a thin jelly made of wheat- 
starch and sugar, the sellers of which shout, 
'halaweh, yd sukkar bimismdr yd haldwehf 
(confection, sugar, for a nail, con- 
fection !). These vendors, who resemble the 
rag and bone collectors of European towns, 
often barter their wares for nails or pieces 
of old iron, as their call indicates. Lastly, 
there are itinerant cooks, with portable kit- 
chens, who sell small meat puddings, fish, 
and other comestibles, and whose customers 
eat their dinners sitting cross-legged by 
the side of the street. This custom is no- 
ticed by the old German geographer Se- 
bastian Miinster (d. 1552), who says that 
'the city of Cairo is said to be five times 
as large as Paris. There are few people, who, 
as with us, buy food to prepare at home ; but 
when they are hungry they buy from the 
cooks, of whom the city contains nearly thirty thousand'. 

The way in which fruit and vegetables are cried is particularly 
curious. The commonest expressions are perhaps the following : 
' Allah yehawwinheh yd li- 
mun' ('God will make them 
light, lemons'; i. e., he 
will make light, or empty 
the baskets containing the 
lemons); "asal yd burtukdn, 
'asaV ('honey, oranges, 
honey'; i.e., sweet as ho- 
ney) ; k meded yd Embdbeh 
meded! tirmis Embdbeh 
yaghlib el-loz! 1 l yd mahld 
bunei el-bahr* ('help ! 
Embabeh, help ! the lupins 
of Embabeh are better than 
almonds ; Oh, how sweet is 
the little son of the river !'). 
The best lupins are grown 
at Embabeh, and they are 
called 'children of the river' 
from the fact that they re- 
quire to be soaked in Nile water for a considerable time before 
they are boiled. Other cries are 'j/a muselli'l-ghalbdn yd libb' 
('0 comforter of those in distress, kernels', i. e., of the melon); 
or, more commonly, k el-mohammad ('roasted kernels'); 'yd fustuk 

250 Route 3. CAIRO. Schools. 

gedid' (new pistachios); ' el-ward kan shok min arak en-nebi 
fettah' ('the rose was a thorn; it blossomed from the sweat of the 
prophet'). This legend resembles that of the thorns at Subiaco 
among the Sabine Hills, which were converted into rose bushes by 
the blood of St. Francis. 'Rawayeh el-genneh yd temer henna' 
('odours of Paradise, flowers of henna'). With regard to the 
henna plant, see p. 75. 

When the work of the day is over, the solemn and sonorous cry 
of the mueddin, summoning the faithful to prayer (see p. 147), 
reverberates from the tops of the minarets ; but much of the 
busy street-traffic goes on till nearly midnight , and during the 
month of Ramadan it even continues throughout the whole night, 
while the barking of hungry dogs and the braying of donkeys fre- 
quently form an additional interruption to repose. At a very early 
hour in the morning the same scenes recommence, and on leaving 
his hotel the traveller is tempted to believe that Cairo is celebrat- 
ing a never-ending Carnival. 

While perambulating the streets of the city the traveller will 
frequently have occasion to observe the Schools (kuttab), which are 
open on the side next the street, and one of which is attached to 
almost every public fountain. He will find it very amusing to watch 
the efforts of the fikth, or schoolmaster, in teaching his pupils with 
the aid of admonitions and blows, while the boys themselves re- 
cite verses of the Koran with a swaying motion of their bodies, 
bending over their metal writing-tablets, and yet finding time for 
the same tricks as European schoolboys. Unless the visitor has an 
order of admission from the minister of public instruction, it is not 
advisable to watch the fikih too closely, as he is easily disconcerted 
and is then apt to be uncivil. 

These schools all have a purely religious character, and are exclusive- 
ly creations of El-Islam. The mere reading and recitation of verses from 
the Koran being in itself considered a meritorious act, the great object of 
these schools is to teach the pupils to recite the Koran by heart. Each boy 
is provided with a copy of the sacred book, if he can afford to buy one, 
an ink and pen case (dawayeh), and a tablet of metal or of wood painted 
white. After learning the alphabet, the pronunciation and the values of 
numbers , he is then taught the ninety-nine 'beautiful names of Allah' 
contained in the Koran, a knowledge of which is necessary to enable him 
to repeat the ninety-nine prayers of the Mohammedan rosary (sebha). 
The boy is then made to write out the Fdtha, or first chapter (sur'eh) 
of the Koran , which he reads often enough to impress it perfectly on 
his memory, swaying his body to and fro the while , whereby , as he 
imagines, his memory is rendered more pliant. After learning the first 
chapter, he next proceeds to learn the last, the last but one, and the 
others in the same inverted order, until he reaches the second, the rea- 
son being that the chapters gradually diminish in length from the 
second to the last. Although the language is often difficult and obscure, 
no explanations are given, so that the boy who knows the whole book 
by heart usually understands but little of it. As soon as the boy has 
learned the whole of the Koran in this way, the completion of his studies 
is commemorated by the celebration of the Khalmeh, a family festival, to 
which the schoolmaster is invited. 

These schools are maintained by the private enterprise of the school- 

Bazaars. CAIRO. 3. Route. 25 1 

masters themselves, who exact payment of 1-2 piastres per week from 
each pupil. There are in all about 280 schools of this kind at Cairo, pre- 
sided over by 290 teachers, and attended by 8600 pupils ; at Old Cairo 
there are 26 schools with 30 masters and 909 boys ; and at Bulak 41 
schools with 42 masters and 1320 boys. — The 11 higher government 
schools are attended by 1480 pupils , while the foreign settlers support 
57 schools with 247 teachers and 4340 pupils. 

In walking through the bazaars (see below) and other streets, 
the traveller -will be interested in observing how industriously and 
skilfully most of the artizans work with their very primitive tools. 
The Carpenters (naggdr), for example, seem to ply their craft with 
very tolerable success , without bench, vice, rule, or drill. In 
order to steady the piece of wood on which they are working they 
make use of the weight of their bodies, and sometimes of their 
teeth and their toes. For a rule they substitute a piece of string 
or a palm-twig , and for boring holes they use an iron spike 
imbedded in a circular piece of wood, which they turn by means 
of an instrument resembling a fiddle-bow (p. 257). Their principal 
tool consists of a small axe, which serves many different purposes. 
A number of other primitive tools are described at pp. 256, 257. 
— After the closing of the shops in the evening it is customary 
for the porters or watchmen to place their beds (sertrj of palm- 
twigs outside the entrances , where they spend the night , thus 
presenting a very curious and characteristic phase of Egyptian 
out-of-door life. 

The Bazaars t of Cairo (comp. p. 23), though inferior to those 
of Damascus and Constantinople, present to the European traveller 
so many novel features, and so many interesting traits of Oriental 
character, that he should endeavour to pay them repeated visits, 
iu order to become acquainted with their peculiarities. 

Most of the bazaars consist of narrow, and often dirty, lanes, 
generally covered over with an awning to shade them from the sun, 
and flanked with rooms of various sizes, open towards the street, 
and about 3 ft. above the level of the ground (comp. p. 24). 
These lanes usually enclose a massive building of considerable size 
(khan), consisting of two stories, and containing an inner court, 
around which are grouped a number of magazines for goods. Some 
of the older of these buildings, particularly those in the Gameliyeh 
(p. 257) and the Khan el-Khalili (p. 255), are architecturally in- 
teresting, and possess handsome mushrebiyehs. A considerable 
number of these khans form separate quarters of the city (htira), 
which were formerly closed by massive, iron-mounted gates, still 
in some cases preserved ; and they were carefully guarded at night 
by watchmen appointed for the purpose. No one was permitted to 

f Bazar is properly speaking a Persian word, the Arabic equivalent 
for which is sflk. The magazines of the wholesale merchants, with their 
large courts, are called wakkaleh, which the Franks have corrupted to 
Occaleh, Occal, or Okella (pp. 257, 279). 

252 Route 3. CAIRO. Bazaars. 

pass through the gates without undergoing an examination by the 
custodian, and this custom still prevails at Damascus and in the 
towns of Upper Egypt, such as Siiit. In former times, during the 
prevalence of the Mameluke conflicts, which were always attended 
with the pillaging and assassination of many peaceful citizens, 
the gates of the khans frequently remained closed for several days 
together , for the purpose of affording protection against the out- 
rages of these lawless mercenaries. 

The principal market-days are Monday and Thursday, when 
the traffic in the narrow streets is so great that it becomes difficult 
or impossible to traverse them ; but it is on these occasions that 
the most characteristic scenes of Oriental life are witnessed. Ped- 
lers are seen forcing their way through the crowd, shouting at the 
top of their voices , sometimes carrying a small table with them, 
and frequently selling their wares by auction. So, too, we ob- 
serve coffee-sellers, water-bearers, nargileh-hawkers, and others, 
elbowing their way, lauding their commodities, and escaping 
accidents almost by a miracle. One of the noisiest frequenters of 
the bazaars is the dallal, or auctioneer, who carries on his head or 
shoulders the goods he is instructed to sell, and runs up and down 
the lanes shouting ', hardg\ and adding the amount of the 
last bid he has received. However great the confusion may be, his 
practised ear instantly detects each new bid issuing from one of 
the dukkans, and he immediately announces the new offer — 
l bi'ishrtn kirsh', '•bi'ishrln u nus\ and so on. The seller of the goods 
always accompanies the dallal to give his consent to the conclusion 
of the transaction. 

It is hardly possible to give the traveller any idea of the prices 
of the various commodities, as they depend on the demand, which 
is greater in winter than in summer, and also on the character of 
the seller and the demeanour of the purchaser. "We may also 
mention that many so-called Oriental articles, particularly silks 
and woollen stuffs, are now manufactured of inferior materials by 
European firms, and exported to Egypt. Some articles again, such 
as rugs and hangings, please the eye amid their native surround- 
ings, but are rarely suitable for European rooms ; while others are 
more advantageously purchased in most European capitals than 
from the Oriental merchants themselves, with whom bargaining 
is difficult and troublesome. So-called antiquities are largely sold 
at the hotels at exorbitant prices, far exceeding their true value, 
and many of them are even specially manufactured for the purpose. 
Caution in making a purchase is far more requisite in the East than 
in Europe, as Orientals regard skill in cheating simply as a desirable 
accomplishment. Those who purpose making large purchases had 
better defer doing so until they have gained a little experience of the 
national peculiarities, and they should in no case rely on the re- 
commendations or advice of commissionnaires and persons of a 

Bazaars. CAIRO. 3. Route. 253 

similar class (comp. p. 233). Natives of the country may often 
be consulted with advantage as to prices, but the traveller must 
be prepared to pay more than persons familiar with the language 
and customs. 

The following description of the city is so arranged that even a new- 
comer will have little difficulty in finding his way without any other 
guide. If, however, time be limited, the traveller is recommended to 
get a commissionnaire or local dragoman (p. 233), to show him the bazaars 
in the following order. 

The Muski, with its E. continuation the Rue Neuve , is the 
chief thoroughfare of Cairo , nearly 1 M. in length, and Tuns in a 
nearly straight direction from "W. to E. , from the Ezbekiyeh place 
to the tombs of the khalifs. This street, the beginning of which 
has frequently been sketched by European artists, has now to a great 
extent lost its Oriental characteristics, but it still presents many 
picturesque and attractive features (comp. p. 244). Among the 
shops, many of which present quite a European exterior, are nu- 
merous tobacco and cigar stores, emporiums of clothing, and stalls 
of fez-makers, with the peculiarly shaped iron they use in their 
trade. (The price of a fez or tarbush varies from 2 ft. to lo fr. 
according to the material with which it is lined.) 

On entering the Muski we observe on the right, above us, an 
Arabian school (p. 250). We ascend the street to a small place 
called the Rond-Point (PI. C, 3). Immediately before this place is 
reached, we diverge to the right, and follow the first lane to the 
left (running parallel with the Muski), passing a red and yellow 
mosque on the right, and disregarding the attraction of the Euro- 
pean glass wares sold here. Pursuing a straight direction (i.e., as 
straight as the crooked lanes admit of), we pass the end of a nar- 
row lane on the right, through which we perceive the entrance to 
an uninteresting Greek church, and the covered entrance to a bazaar 
lately burned down, on the left. Turning to 'the right, we next 
enter the Suk el-Hamzawi (PI. C, 2, 3), or bazaar of the Christian 
merchants (Syrians and Copts), who vie with their Mohammedan 
fellow-tradesmen in the exorbitance of their demands, and whose 
chief wares are European calico, porcelain, and drugs (which last 
are sold at all the bazaars). Near the end of this street, a little 
before its junction with the broader street El-Ohurtyeh (see below), 
we observe on the right the Suk el-'Attarin, or spice-market, which 
is easily distinguished by its aromatic odours. The perfumes of 
Arabia, genuine and adulterated, wax-candles, and drugs are the 
chief commodities here. Attar of roses is sold by weight at high 
prices. The small bottles into which it is put have very narrow 
necks, through which one drop at a time only can pass. Customers 
should of course see that the bottles are accurately weighed be- 

Beyond the 'Attarin Bazaar (still keeping the El-Ghuriyeh car- 
riage way on our left) we next enter its continuation, the Suk el- 

254 Route 3. CAIRO. Bazaars. 

Fahhami (literally, coal-market ; PI. D, 2), the bazaar for wares 
from Tunis and Algiers. We first observe drug-stalls, and then 
magazines of light-coloured woollen and other stuffs, which, how- 
ever, are imported from Mimes and other places in Southern France, 
being now seldom or never manufactured at Tunis. 

Pursuing the same direction, parallel with the El-Ghuriyeh 
street, and passing a number of shoemakers' stalls (bawabishi), we 
come to a broader covered passage (exactly opposite which is a 
modern okella, presenting no attraction), which we follow to the right 
for a few paces, and then take the first lane to the left. At the end 
of this lane lies a more open spot where undressed wool is exposed 
for sale. Lower down, a little to the left, we reach the Sukkariyeh, 
or bazaar for sugar, dried fruits (nukl), and similar wares. Adjoin- 
ing it is the Garni' el-Muaiyad (p. 272), now undergoing restora- 
tion, while facing us, at the end of the street, rises the handsome 
Bab ez-Zuweleh (see p. 272), or Mutawelli. Opposite the outside 
of the gate is a house with a large grated window, and in the cor- 
ner is a column built into the wall, at which executions by stran- 
gulation formerly took place. In a straight direction we next enter 
the Shoemakers' Bazaar, formerly a school, an interesting building, 
the first story of which overhangs the lower and is borne by large 
brackets. The large gateway (on the right) is still preserved ; part 
of the interior has been altered, while the rest of it is in a dilapid- 
ated condition. — The same street then passes the stalls of the tent 
and flag-makers, and leads to the Boulevard Mohammed 'Ali (p. 260), 
at the W. end of which are the mosques of Sultan Hasan (p. 260) 
and Rifa'iyeh (p. 260), the latter being still unfinished. On the 
left, before this last is reached, is the entrance to the once cel- 
ebrated Suk es-Sellaha (PL E, 2), or bazaar of the armourers, now 
reduced to three or four miserable stalls, where European weapons 
are sold. Keeping to the left, we traverse several crooked lanes 
and reach the Sebil Mohammed c Ali (see below) in the Ghuriyeh 
street. This last digression, however, is uninteresting. 

We return from the Shoemakers' Bazaar to the Bab ez-Zuweleh, 
before reaching which we pass the unattractive Saddlers' Bazaar 
(Suk es-Surugiyeh), and a police-office at the corner to the right. 
We now follow a broader street, the first part of which is called 
the Sukkariyeh (see above). Beyond the Sebil Mohammed 'Ali this 
street is named El-Ghuriyeh from the mosque erected by Sultan 
El-Ghuri (p. 274), the small minaret of which, with its domes, 
rises nearly in the middle of the street. 

We follow this street in a straight direction nearly as far as the 
post of the (lower) sentry on the left, a little before reaching whom 
we turn to the right into the Suk es-Sudan, or bazaar for wares 
from the Sudan , consisting of chests , gum , diim-palm nuts , ill- 
tanned tiger skins , etc. (see p. 236). Farther on , in a straight 
direction, are the stalls of the Booksellers and Bookbinders. 

Bazaars. CAIRO. 3. Route. 255 

Most of the booksellers are also scholars, but they are not so fanatical 
as their brethren of Damascus, who sometimes decline to sell their books 
to Christians. Seated on their mastabas are frequently to be found va- 
rious other members of the learned, or would-be learned, world, who 
spend whole days here in interminable colloquies. Some of the book- 
sellers sell those works only which they have themselves published, 
while others keep an assortment of books from the printing-offices of 
Bulak and others (p. 294). As the prices vary greatly in accordance with 
the demand and other circumstances, and there is no such thing as a 
fixed publishing price, purchasers should always endeavour to ascertain 
beforehand the true value of any work they wish to buy. As in the 
case of many other wares, the line between new and second-hand books 
is not so strictly drawn in the East as in Europe. The booksellers gen- 
erally keep catalogues, several feet in length, to refresh their memories 
regarding the state of their stock. The Koran, which is shown very re- 
luctantly to non-Muslims , is generally kept under lock and key, or at 
least separate from the other books. The books are not arranged side 
by side as in European shops, but piled up in a very inconvenient fashion. 
Many of them are sold in loose sheets , in which case the purchaser 
should see that the work is complete, as gaps are of frequent occurrence. 
The bindings usually consist of leather and pasteboard. Valuable books 
are often kept in cases of red sheepskin, out of which they are drawn by 
means of a loop. — The workmanship of the bookbinders, who like other 
Oriental artizans work in the open street, is generally cheap and durable. 
Red is their favourite colour. 

At the point where the street expands a little, before reaching 
the handsome W. entrance of the El-Azhar mosque (p. 287), we 
observe several houses with picturesque mushrebiyehs (p. 181). 
The next lane to the left leads us across the Rue Neuve, the pro- 
longation of the Muski (passing a large new school at the corner to 
the right), towards the large new minaret of the Hasanen Mosque 
(p. 292). Opposite to it, on the left, is a gateway through which 
we enter the Khan el-Khalili (PI. C, 2), which once formed the 
centre of the commercial traffic of Cairo. This building, which is 
said to have been founded so early as the end of the 13th cent, on 
the site of ruined tombs of the Khalifs by El-Ashraf Salaheddin 
Khalil (1290-93), one of the Bahrite Mameluke sultans, forms a 
distinct quarter of the city, and Is intersected by a main street and 
numerous cross-lanes, formed by long rows of stalls of tradesmen 
and artizans, all covered over. This is the headquarters of the silk 
and carpet merchants and the vendors of trinkets. 

The usual price of a light keffiyeh (shawl for the head) is 12-14 fr., 
and of one of heavier quality, with red and yellow stripes and interwoven 
with gold thread , 20-25 fr. The fringes are generally loosened and 
adjusted after the completion of the purchase. Many of the so-called 
Damascene silks, and particularly the lighter keffiyehs in pleasing co- 
lours, are manufactured at Lyons and Crefeld. The table-covers of red, 
blue, or black cloth, embroidered with coloured silk (35-100 fr.), are well 
worthy of notice. The letters with which they are adorned rarely have 
any meaning. 

The Khan Khalili contains two large Carpet Bazaars, one 
(the smaller) immediately to the right of the entrance (see above), 
and the other at the W. end, to the left, a little before we reach 
the broader and better lighted Suk en-Nahhasin (p. 256). The 
latter of these two bazaars, established in the court of a building 

256 Route 3. CAIRO. Bazaars. 

in the early Arabian style, -is a favourite subject -with European 

The prices of the carpets, like those of other Oriental goods, are 
liable to great fluctuation. Those of Baghdad and Brussa (in Asia Minor) 
are the most sought after, but imitations, manufactured at Brussels, are 
said to be not uncommon. They are chiefly remarkable for the har- 
monious arrangement of their colours. As soon as a purchaser appears, 
the dealers spread their wares over the whole court for his inspection. 
If the traveller is pressed for time he had better not attempt to make a 
purchase, as several hours must not unfrequently be spent in negociation 
before a satisfactory bargain is concluded. 

Leaving this court, we cross the Suk en-Nahhasin (see below) 
in a somewhat oblique direction, and pass through a very insigni- 
ficant gate into the Suk es-S&igh (pi. SiyagK), or bazaar of the gold 
and silversmiths, which consists of several crooked lanes, barely a 
yard in width, through which the traveller will sometimes find it 
difficult to thread his way. The occupants of these crowded alleys 
keep their wares in glass cases or under glass shades. Their stalls 
present a very poor appearance , but their filagree-work is some- 
times very good. Spurious gold and silverwares are not unfrequently 
sold as genuine. The bellows of the silversmith aTe generally of 
amusingly primitive construction, consisting of a conical bag of 
goatskin, open at one end, where it is provided with wooden 
handles, and terminating at the other end in a tube, usually an 
old gun-barrel, which runs under a small mound of clay to the fire. 

The finest ninety-carat silver, which is never sold except in its native 
condition, is frequently purchased with a view to the manufacture of plate 
and trinkets in the house of the purchaser himself and under his immediate 
supervision, in order that all possibility of fraud may be obviated. The 
finest quality manufactured at the shops is the eighty-carat silver, the 
workmanship bestowed on which is usually worth a quarter to a half the 
value of the raw material; the next quality is the seventy-five carat; and, 
lastly, there are inferior qualities containing fifty per cent or less of pure 
silver. The silver manufactured at the shops ought to bear a govern- 
ment stamp, indicating the number of carats it contains. As soon as a 
standard of price is agreed on, the article is paid for in accordance with 
its weight in dirhem (drachms), and with its assay as stated by the seller. 
The quality of the metal is then attested by a government official, who 
is always in attendance, and the article is taken to the customs-office, 
where a duty is exacted from the purchaser. The whole transaction is 
therefore of a somewhat complicated character, and the formal attesta- 
tion by the official affords no guarantee whatever of the true quality of 
the metal. The only satisfactory plan is to purchase the raw material, 
and, like the natives of the country, get it manufactured under one's 
personal supervision. 

In the Jewish quarter, to the W. of the Silk es-Saigh, are the booths 
of the Jewellers (Odhargiyeh), where, however, there' is nothing to see, as 
they show their wares to intending purchasers only. 

From this labyrinth of lanes we return to the Suk en-Nahh&sin, 
or market of the copper-smiths, immediately to the left of which 
are the imposing facades of several contiguous mosques, the first 
two of which contain the tombs of Sultan Kalaun and his son Mo- 
hammed en-Nasir (p. 277). This bazaar presents little attraction, 
but one of the Arabian copper ink-bottles (dawayeh; 4-10 fr. , 
according to the style of the engraving with which they are 

Bazaars. CAIRO. 3. Route. 257 

adorned) may be purchased as a souvenir. Several pipe -makers 
(shibukshi) are also established here. 

The chief occupation of the pipe-makers is the boring of pipe-stems. 
Their primitive apparatus consists of an instrument resembling a bow 
with which they turn a wooden cylinder terminating in an iron spike. 
The string of the bow is pressed against the wood, and the bow is moved 
to and fro, somewhat like that of a violin, so as to turn the borer. Not- 
withstanding the simplicity of this tool, and although they merely steady 
the stem with their hands , they execute their work with surprising ra- 
pidity and accuracy. — The same kind of implement is used by the 
turners. The wood on which they are working is secured on two nails 
in two parallel upright pieces of wood and turned with the bow with 
the right hand, while the work is done with a chisel held in the left. 

Leaving the bazaars for a short time, we may now turn to the 
right, and follow the broad, newly constructed street to the Bet el- 
K&di (PI. 2), or 'House of the Judge'. The appointment of kadi is 
made by the government at Constantinople, and is usually bestowed 
on favourites, as it is said to be a very lucrative post. In the large 
court on the right is an open verandah , resting on columns with 
early Arabian capitals (takhta bosh; p. 186). Part of the building 
still dates from the time of Saladin (1193). Within the building, 
the entrance to which consists of an open verandah, the kadi holds 
his court on Thursdays. This court was formerly the supreme tri- 
bunal of the country, but its jurisdiction is now limited to cases in 
which the law laid down by the Koran is to be administered, and 
particularly to actions between married persons. The large extent 
to which the court is patronised shows that polygamy is not parti- 
cularly conducive to domestic harmony. 

Crossing the court, and passing through the gate opposite, we 
next follow the windings of the narrow lane to the left as far as a 
sentry posted by the Gdmi' Yusuf Gamali. 

[To the right of this mosque begins the street called Gameliyeh, 
leading to the Bab en-Nasr (p. 280). It consists of a number of 
large warehouses (okellas ; p. 251), and is the headquarters of the 
Red Sea trade. 

The staple commodities here are gums, coffee, mother-of-pearl, tortoise- 
shell, skins, ostrich-feathers, wax, incense, attar of roses, and various 
essences, the ports from which they are brought being Jedda, Hodeda, 
'Aden, Zela', Berbera, Masaua', Souakin, and Koser. 

As we shall have to traverse the Gameliyeh on our way to the 
Tombs of the Khalifs, we need not now visit it.] 

Where the street divides, beyond the above-mentioned sentry, 
we keep to the left until we regain the Suk en-Nahhasin, near a 
fountain (Sebil 'Abder-Rahman Kikhya ; p. 279). We then follow 
the bazaar-street to the right to the Bab el-Futuh (p. 280), and 
proceed thence to the left to the Rue Neuve (Muski, p. 253). 

The above-named bazaars are the most important at Cairo, the 
others being unattractive. We may, however, add the names of 
some of the other trades, as given by Mr. Lane : • — Tagir, cloth 
and stuff merchants ; khurdagi, dealers in iron goods and small 
wares ; khaiydt, tailors ; mbbagh, dyers ; reffa, stocking-makers ; 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 17 

258 Route 3. CAIRO. Ezbekiyeh. 

habbdk, embroiderers and silk-lace makers ; 'akkdd, manufacturers 
of silk braid ; 'attar, druggists and perfumers ; dakhdkhni, tobac- 
conists ; fdkihdni, fruiterers ; zeiyat, oil-merchants, who also sell 
butter, cheese, honey, etc. ; khudari, vegetable dealers ; gezzdr, 
butchers ; farrdn, bakers ; kahwegi, coffee-dealers ; shammd'a, wax 
and candle-dealers ; simsdr, brokers ; samkari, tinsmiths ; hadddd, 
smiths ; sd'dti, watchmakers ; fatdtri, .'cake-sellers ; sammdk, fish- 
dealers ; kharrdt, turners. 

The Ezbekiyeh and the New Isma'iltya Quarter. 

The central point of the Isma'Uiya Quarter (p. 258), which is 
intersected by broad and shadeless streets bearing French names, 
is the — 

Place Ezbekiyeh (PI. C, 4, 5), or simply the Ezbekiyeh, which 
is named after the heroic Emir Ezbek, the general of Sultan 
Kait Bey (p. 268), who brought the general and son-in-law of Ba- 
jesidl. as a captive to Cairo. A mosque was erected here in honour 
of his victory ; and, though the building no longer exists, its name 
still attaches to the site. This was once the focus of the Oriental 
traffic of Cairo, but the native industries have gradually to a great 
extent been absorbed by Europeans. The principal hotels, several 
of the consulates, numerous cafes, palatial dwelling-houses, hand- 
some shops, and the theatres are situated in this magnificent place, 
in the centre of which are Pleasure Grounds, with the luxuriant 
vegetation peculiar to the marvellous climate of Egypt. The gar- 
dens afford a delightful promenade, especially in the afternoon, 
and also present a very attractive appearance by gaslight. They 
were laid out in 1870 by M. Barillet (p. 76), formerly chief 
gardener to the city of Paris. They are octagonal in shape , and 
cover an area of 2OV2 acres; the walks are altogether IV2M. in 
length. The gardens contain a variety of rare and beautiful trees 
and shrubs, and the open spaces are planted with the Lippia nodi- 
flora, to supply the place of grass, which does not thrive in this 
dry climate. The grounds are open to the public in the forenoon, 
but in the afternoon a charge of 10 paras silver (no change given) 
is made for admission. An Egyptian band, which generally per- 
forms European music, plays here daily from 5 to about 8 p.m. 
Among the other attractions of the place are several cafe's, a thea- 
tre, where Italian comedies are performed in summer (p. 233), a 
French restaurant, where a good supper is procurable, and a pho- 
tographer's studio. An artificial hill with a belvedere commands 
a fine view, and below it is a pretty grotto. The garden was at first 
visited almost exclusively by Europeans, but it is gradually be- 
coming the fashion for Arabs to send their veiled wives and their 
children to promenade here , while the Europeans of the better 
classes now treat it with unreasonable neglect. The trees, shrubs, 
and flowers thrive admirably, the greatest show of blossom being 

New Town. CAIRO. 3. Route. 259 

in May and June. Invalids who spend the winter in Cairo for the 
sake of their health will rind these beautiful grounds a very plea- 
sant resort, though they should he careful to leave them before sun- 
down, after which the air here is very damp. 

Similar gardens, but of smaller extent, have been laid out by M. Ba- 
rillet at Gezireh (p. 328), in the island of Koda (p. 318), at Shubra 
(p. 331), at Kubbeh (p. 332), and at Gizeh (p. 341). The present superin- 
tendent of gardens is M. Delchevallerie. — Private gardens of M. Cicco- 
lani, see p. 331. 

The New Town of Isma'lliya was begun about the year 1865, 
when the Khedive presented sites here gratuitously to any one who 
would undertake to erect on each a house worth at least 30,000 fr. 
within eighteen months. Most of the houses are architecturally 
uninteresting, but there is a fair sprinkling of handsome buildings. 

At the end of the Muski, on the left, is the small place named 
Atab el-Kadra (PI. C, 3). It was formerly adorned with an eques- 
trian statue of Ibrahim Pasha, but this was removed during the re- 
volution of 1882 and is now in the magazine of the Biilak Museum. 
On the "W. side of the place is the International Tribunal (PI. 99, 
C 4; p. 7), beyond which is the Theatre Francais (PI. 98). On 
the S. side of the Ezbekiyeh is the Opera House (PI. 75), and to the 
right of it(W.) the ponderous New Hotel (PI. a). Opposite, on the 
W. side of the Ezbekiyeh, is a large house belonging to Sign. Ma- 
tatia, the banker, built in the Louis XV. style, and let out in quar- 
tiers. To the W. of the New Hotel are the German Church (PI. 10) 
and the English Church (PL 8), which still lacks its spire. Still 
farther to the W. is the residence of M. Delort, the banker, in the 
early Arabian style, the interior of which, partly fitted up with 
relics from old Arabian houses, is worthy of a visit. The ministerial 
offices and several palaces of the Khedive, including the Palais 
'Abidin (PL 76), built in the form of a horse-shoe, are also situated 
in this new quarter of the city. Opposite the Palais 'Abidin is the 
Diwdn el- Wdkf, or government office for mosques and other ec- 
clesiastical property. The consulates are also all in this neigh- 
bourhood (comp. p. 232). Near the French consulate (PI. 19 ; C, 5) 
is the house of Count St. Maurice, in the Arabian style, now occu- 
pied by the French consul-general. The palaces of the Egyptian 
grandees are generally enclosed by high walls, so that only the roofs 
are visible to passers-by. Some of them will be briefly mentioned 
when we have occasion to pass them (pp. 317, 341). 

It need haTdly be added that the traveller in search of Oriental 
scenes will not care to devote much time to this modern and almost 
entirely European quarter, but will hasten to make acquaintance 
with the Arabian parts of the city. 


260 Route 3. CAIRO. Garni' Sultan Hasan. 

Southern Quarters. Boulevard Mohammed 'Ali. Garni' Sultan 
Hasan. Citadel. Garni' Mohammed 'Ali. Garni' Saldheddin Yusuf 
and Suleman Pasha. Joseph's Well. Qami' ibn Tulun, Kait Bey, 
and Seidiyeh Zenab. Viceroyal Library at Herb el-Oam&mXz. Mon- 
astery of Dervishes in the Habbanlyeh. Bab ez-Zuwileh. Garni' 
el-Muaiyad. Garni' el-Ghuri. 

Starting from the Place Atab el-Kadra, between the Muski and 
the Ezbekiyeh (see above), the Boulevard Mohammed 'Ali, 1860 yds. 
in length, leads straight to the foot of the citadel. At the end of 
this long street is the Place Sultan Hasan (PI. F, 2), with two 
large mosques. That on the left is the Garni' Bifa'iyeh (PI. 59), 
named after an order of dervishes (p. 150), and erected entirely 
at the expense of the mother of the ex-Khedive Isma'il, but still 
unfinished. On the right, adjoining the Place Rumeleh, rises the — 

**Gami' Sultan Hasan (PI. 44), the 'superb mosque', and the 
finest existing monument of Arabian architecture. It was begun 
in the year 757 of the Hegira(A.D. 1356), and completed in three 
years by Melik en-Nasir Abu'l-Ma'ali Hasan ibn Kalaun, but is 
now in a neglected and dilapidated condition. 

Sultan Hasan, the sixth son of Sultan Nasir (p. 277), was still a minor 
when he ascended the throne in A.D. 1346. At the end of the vigorous 
reign of Nasir (d. 1341), which lasted 43 years, the Mamelukes and emirs 
revolted, and the state of anarchy which now ensued was farther aggra- 
vated by the prevalence of the plague or 'black death' (1348-49), which 
exterminated whole families, whose property was immediately seized by 
the government. Makrizi (p. 242), with the usual exaggeration of Orientals, 
records that no fewer than 15-20,000 persons died at Cairo in a single day. 
After having been dethroned in 1351, Hasan regained possession of his 
sceptre three years later, but in 1361 he was again dethroned and ass- 

The lofty walls with their shallow niches, pierced with six 
or seven windows one above the other, the huge gateway (see be- 
low), and the S. minaret which is still preserved, present a ma- 
jestic appearance, especially now that the incongruous additions 
of later date have been removed. The building is in the form of an 
irregular pentagon, on the E. side of which the minarets and the 
mausoleum (see below) form symmetrical projections. The windows 
in the side are disposed somewhat irregularly, and the wall termi- 
nates in a broad cornice. The angles of the edifice are embellished 
with columns built into the wall, with a wreath of pendentives or 
'stalactites' at the top, forming to some extent a new order of capital. 

According to the legend, Sultan Hasan, after the completion of 
the work, ordered the architect's hands to be cut off, in order that he 
might not erect a second building of equal splendour. (Similar 
myths in various parts of Europe record that architects have been 
blinded from the same motive.) The mosque of Hasan has always 
been the chief rallying point of the ringleaders of insurrections 
and all kinds of public demonstrations. 

One of the Minarets, as Makrizi informs us, was overthrown by 

Oami' Sultan Hasan. 


3. Route. 261 

an earthquake, killing three hundred persons. The southernmost is 
the highest minaret in existence, measuring 280 ft. (that of El- 
Ghuri 213 ft., Kalaun 193 ft., Muaiyad 167 ft., El-Azhar 167 ft., 
Kait Bey and BarkHk 164 ft., Tulun 132 ft., 'Amr 105 ft.J. 

The **6ateway on the N. side, in the Boulevard Mohammed 
r Ali, situated 10 ft. above the street, is unrivalled in its imposing 
dimensions. It forms a niche, 66 ft. high, with regular arabesques 
in sculptured stone, and the principal cornice is in the 'stalactite' 
form. An insignificant flight of steps ascends to the entrance. 

From the Entrance (PI. 1) we first enter a Vestibule (PI. 2), 
with an interesting cupola and stone arabesques, where a black 
spot, said to be a blood-stain, is shown on the floor. We then turn 
to the left, then to the right, and afterwards to the left again, 
and thus reach the Inner Court (PI. 3 ; before entering which we 
must put on straw-shoes ; fee 1 piastre on leaving), 38 yds. in 
length, and 35 yds. in width, presenting a very interesting and 
picturesque appearance. In the centre is the Meda (PI. 4), or foun- 

1. Chief Entrance (from the Boul. Mohammed 'All). 2. Vestibule. 3. Hosh 
el-Gami'. 4. MSda, or Fountain for the ablutions of the Egyptians. 
5. Hanefiyeh , or Fountain for the ablutions of the Turks, b. Open 
chambers for prayer. 8. Dikkeh. 9. Kursi. 10. Sanctuary. 11. Mambar. 
12. Kibla. 13. Entrance to the Mausoleum. 14. Maksura. 15. Tomb of 
Sultan Hasan. 16. Kibla. 17. Minaret. 18. Fountain. 19. Schools. 
20.' Chambers for carpets. 21. Offices. 22. Sultan's Entrance. 

tain where Egyptian worshippers perform their ablutions, to the 
right of which is the Hanefiyeh (PI. 5), or fountain for the Turks, 
who formerly kept entirely aloof from their fellow-worshippers. 
Notwithstanding their dilapidated condition, both these fountains 

262 Route 3. CAIRO. Citadel. 

are very characteristic examples of Arabian architecture. Over the 
entrance to the principal dome is inscribed the date 764 of the 
Hegira (A.D. 1363). 

The interior of the mosque is cruciform, and the four arms of 
the cross are roofed with lofty, pointed vaulting. In the S.E. arm 
is the Liwdn el-Oami' (PI. 10), or Sanctuary, -with a stone Mambar 
(PI. 11), from which the sultan sometimes addressed the people. 
The frieze is embellished with a finely executed Cufic inscription. 
Numerous lamps hang from the ceiling. To the right of the mambar 
is the entrance (PI. 13) to the MaksUra (PI. 14), an interesting 
and majestic structure, which has been recently restored ; it is cov- 
ered with a dome, 180 ft. in height, and contains the Tomb of 
Sultan Hasan. The pendentives in the corners, which are still 
partly preserved, betray the influence of the classical style. 
Around the walls runs a frieze with texts from the Koran in large 
letters intertwined. 

On leaving this mosque, we proceed to the E. (right) to the 
circular Place Rumeleh, from which the Mecca pilgrimage starts 
(p. 238), and to the Place Mehemet Ali [MensMyeh Oedideh, or 
New Place), formerly called the Karamedan, on the 8. side of the 
Rumeleh. From the E. side of the Rumeleh a broad carriage-road, 
passing two mosques (on the left : the Qami' Mahmddi, PI. 52, 
and beyond it the Gdmi' 'Abderrahman, PI. 41, with a decaying 
minaret), and affording a view of the Tombs of the Khalifs to the 
left, ascends in windings to the Citadel. A shorter and steeper 
route, which may be ascended on donkey-back, diverges to the 
right near the beginning of the carriage-road, passing through the 
Bab el-Azab, flanked with its huge towers. It was in this narrow 
and crooked lane, enclosed by lofty walls, and formerly the chief 
approach to the citadel, that the massacre of the Mamelukes took 
place on 1st March, 1811, by order of Mohammed 'Ali (p. 106). 
Amin Bey, the only one who survived, effected his escape by 
making his horse leap into the moat, through a gap in the wall. 

The Citadel [El-Kal'a; PI. F, G, 1, 2), which should be vis- 
ited repeatedly for the sake of the view, was erected in 1166 by 
Salaheddin (p. 242), with stones taken from the small pyramids at 
Gizeh, the site having been selected, according to Arabian his- 
torians, owing to the fact that meat could be kept fresh here twice 
as long as in any other part of Cairo. Although the fortress com- 
mands the city, its site is unfavourable in respect that it is itself 
completely commanded by the heights of the Mokattam, rising 
above it immediately to the S. ; thus in 1805 Mohammed 'Ali was 
enabled, by means of a battery planted on the Gebel Giyushi 
(p. 335), to compel Khurshid Pasha to surrender the Citadel. 

We enter the inner court of the Citadel by the Bdb el-Oedtd 
('New Gate'), and traversing a walled passage, we observe on a 
terrace before us the — 

Garni' Mohammed 'Ali. CAIRO. 

3. Route. 263 

*Gami' Mohammed r Ali (PI. 53j, the 'Alabaster Mosque', whose 
lofty and graceful minarets are so conspicuous from a distance as 
to form one of the landmarks of Cairo. The building -was be- 
gun by Mohammed 'Ali, the founder of the present Egyptian dy- 
nasty, on the site of a palace which was blown up in 1824 ; and 
in 1857 it was partly 
completed in its present 
form by Sa'id Pasha (p. 
107). In plan it re- 
sembles the Turkish 
mosques built on the 
model of the Hagia Sofia 
at Constantinople. The 
execution of the design 
displays but little ar- 
tistic taste , and the 
treatment of the ma- 
terial is somewhat un- 
satisfactory. The ala- 
baster used for the in- 
crustation of the ma- 
sonry consists paTtly of 
blocks, and partly of 
slabs, and was obtained 
from the quarries near 
Beni Suef, which were 
known in ancient times, 
but had long been dis- 
used and forgotten. The 
beautiful yellow tint 
of the stone soon fades 
when exposed to the 
sun. The alabaster in- 
crustation of the S. fa- 
cade, is, however, new 

and fresh. t Entraiice , 2 . Kursi. 3. Mambar. 4. Kibla. 

The Entrance (PI. 1 ; 5. Grated space for the Sultan. 6. Tomb of Mo- 
where we put on Straw hammed 'Ali. 7. Sultan's Entrance. 8. Great 
or rlnrh ahnps • fpp 1 Gallery. 9. Entrance to the — 10. Sahn el- 
or oioin snoes, iee 1 Gami , u Hanefiyeh. 12. Small Fountain, 
p.t. J is on the N. Side. 13. Ascent to the clock-tower. 14. Point of view. 
The interior, consisting 

of a large quadrangle, with domes resting on 4 huge pillars, pre- 
sents an imposing appearance ; and the ceiling is effectively painted. 
The Kursi, Mambar, and Kibla possess no particular attraction. 
At the 8.E. angle is the Tomb of Mohammed 'Ali (d. 1849), en- 
closed by a handsome railing (PI. 6), opposite to which is a space 
set apart for the Sultan, also enclosed by a railing (PI. 5). 

264 Route 3. CAIRO. Garni' Salaheddin Yusuf. 

To the S. of the last is the Sahn el-Odmi' (PI. 10), or Anterior 
Court, enclosed by vaulted galleries, in the upper parts of which 
plain limestone has been used instead of alabaster. In the centre 
is the Hanefiyeh (p. 184), designed in the debased Turkish style. 
On the "W. side is the approach to a tower, terminating in pavilions 
in the Chinese style, and containing a clock which was presented 
to Mohammed 'Ali by Louis Philippe of France. 

A magnificent **View is obtained from the parapet at the S. W. 
end of the mosque, which is reached by walking round the building. 
(The palace of the Khedive, fitted up in the European style, is 
uninteresting.) From this point we survey the yellowish grey city, 
with its countless minarets, domes, and gardens. At our feet stands 
the mosque of Sultan Hasan. To the N. and W. are the windmill- 
hills t and the green plain traversed by the Nile. To the W. in 
the distance are the Pyramids, towering above the desert. On the 
flat roofs of the houses we observe innumerable air-pipes, called 
malkaf, known also by the Persian name of badgir, by means of 
which the cool north-wind is introduced into the houses. 

The other mosques in the citadel cannot be visited without special 
permission (p. 241). Many of the chambers have been diverted from their 
original uses, so that they are not easily inspected, and are moreover in 
a very ruinous condition. 

The Garni' Salaheddin Yusuf (PI. 60), situated to the S.E. of the 
Mosque of Mohammed 'Ali, was erected in A. D. 1171-98, in a style betray- 
ing the influence of Western architecture, and in many points resembling 
that of a basilica. Here, too, the pointed arch predominates. The openings 
under the arcades are of the elongated Moorish form. The dome was 
once supported by nine magnificent columns of granite, but it has now 
fallen in, the only remains of it being the deeply sculptured pendentives. As 
in the case of most of the other mosques, the columns have been taken 
from ancient monuments. The Kibla is handsomely embellished with 
miniature arcades, in the interior of which are rich arabesques. The coffered 
ceiling of carved wood is painted white and gilded, with a blue ground. 
The windows are still partly filled with tracery in plaster. The whole 
edifice up to the roof is of solid masonry. The minarets, each con- 
sisting of a cube with a cylinder above it, are covered at the top with 
slabs of green porcelain, and are encircled with a band of 'Sullus 1 characters 
in white on a brown ground. 

Immediately to the S.E. of the Mosque of Saladin is the so-called 
Well of Joseph (PI. 27), a square shaft, sunk in the limestone rock to a 
depth of 280 ft., containing somewhat brackish water, which is brought 
to the surface by means of two sakiyehs, one above the other, worked by 
oxen halfway down the opening. Since the introduction of the steam- 
pumps (p. 281), however, the well has lost its former importance. When 
the citadel was constructed here in the 12th cent. , the builders discovered 
an ancient shaft filled with sand, which Sal&heddin Ytisuf caused to be re- 
opened and named after himself Yusuf's, or Joseph's, Well. This cir- 
cumstance gave rise to the tradition, which was chiefly current among 
the Jews, that this was the well into which the Joseph of scripture was 
put by his brethren, and the story is still faithfully repeated by the dragomans. 

The Gami' Suleman Fasha (PI. 67) was erected in the year 391 of the 

+ Windmills were first erected in Egypt by the French, before which 
period all the grain in the country was ground in the houses in hand- 
mills (raha). The latter are still chiefly used and the windmills have 
comparatively little to do. 

Oami' ibn Tuliln. CAIRO. 3. Route. 265 

Hegira by Suleman, the Mameluke , afterwards Sultan Selim. The 
architecture is a mixture of Arabian and Turkish, but the plan is rather 
Byzantine in character. The mosque is small, but carefully executed. 
It contains Cufic inscriptions, marble mosaics, and a mambar in marble. 
Route from the Citadel to the Mokattam and to the Petrified 
Forest, see p. 336. 

On the W. side of the Place MeTiemet Ali (p. 262) is the rail- 
way-station for Helwan (p. 403). From this point a street called 
the Salibeh runs to the W., traversing the oldest, and now partly 
ruined, quarter of Cairo, which was erected by the Tulunides (p. 
102), and is almost exclusively inhabited by the lower classes. 
About 440 yds. from the Place this street is intersected by another, 
running from N. to S., the N. (right) part of which is called the 
Siuftyeh, and the S. (left) part the Rugbiyeh. At the beginning 
of the Siufiyeh, on the right, is a new Arabian Girls' School, and 
beyond it, on the same side, is the Teklyet el-Maulawiyeh (PI. 36 ; 
F. 3), where the dervishes perform their dances (p. 239), with 
a dome adorned with carefully sculptured arabesques. (This street 
terminates in the Boulevard Mohammed C AH.) At the corner 
opposite the mosque is the recently completed SebU of the Mother 
of Abbas Pasha (PI. 94), in marble, rich and effective in general 
appearance, but lacking finish in its details. The large school 
above it is hardly worth visiting. 

We now proceed in a straight direction to the Place Seiyideh 
Zenab, where we show our order of admission at the office of the 
Wakf. Visitors on foot or on donkey-back follow an attendant with 
the key, who leads the way up the direct and somewhat steep path 
to the mosque. Those who are driving return to the Sebil of the 
Mother of Abbas Pasha and enter the Rugbiyeh street, follow it for 
about 300 yds. , and turn down a street to the right, in which, af- 
ter about 130 yds. more, we observe on the right the — 

*6ft,mi f ibn Tulnn (PI. 68). This mosque, the oldest in Cairo, 
was erected by Abu'l-'Abbas Ahmed ibn Tulun, the independent 
governor of Egypt under the suzerainty of Khalif Mu'tamid (A.D. 
870-92), in the year 265 of the Hegira (A.D. 879), on the once 
fortified hill of Kal'at el-Kebsh (see p. 268). 

Ahmed ibn Tulun, the founder of the dynasty of the Tulunides (p. 102), 
was so successful in war that he extended the boundaries of Egypt beyond 
Syria and as far as Mesopotamia, but was proclaimed a rebel from the 
mambar of every mosque by the 'Abbaside khalif El-Mu'tamid of Baghdad 
(see above), and fell a victim to disease in Syria in A.D. 884. 

According to one legend the mosque occupies the spot where Abraham 
sacrificed the goat (kebsh) instead of his son, whence the appellation 
Kal'at el-Kebsh (i.e., 'castle of the goat'). Another legend points to this 
as the spot where Noah's ark ran aground on the 10th Moharrem 
(p. 236), although the Muslims generally believe that this event took place 
on Mt. Jttdi near Mosul in Syria (see p. 143). According to a third 
tradition the name is' derived from the winding staircase which ascends 
the still existing minaret (see below) in the form of a twisted ram's horn. 

The construction of the edifice, which, as Makrizi informs us 

266 Route 3. 


G&mi' ibn Tulun. 

(p. 201), was designed by a Christian in imitation of the Ka'ba at 
Mecca, occupied two years. Contrary to the practice followed in 
the case of earlier mosques, the whole of the building was con- 
structed of entirely new materials. The walls consist of brick, 
coated with stucco. 

W. Side. 

I i m iii ih ran in i i m w m iii l» i 

a. Entrance. 1. Kibla. 2. JJambar. 3. Dikkeh. 4. Kursi. 5. Railing and. 
pillars (all of which fell in 1875), separating the Liwan el-Gami' (sanc- 
tuary) from the court of the mosqne. 6. Hanefiyeh. 7. Latrines. 8. Minaret. 
9. Sakiyeh. 10. Paved paths. 

G&mi' ibn TuUn. CAIRO. 3. Route. 267 

The Entrance (PI. a) to the mosque is on the E. side, and we 
reach the interior by traversing the S. part of the Liwan. The 
mosque originally had two entrances from each of the three outer 
courts (see Plan). The Sahn el-Gamf, which we first enter, is a 
spacious quadrangle, 99 yds. square. The dome-covered structure 
(PI. 6) in the centre was destined to be the tomb of the founder ; 
but, as he died in Syria (see p. 265), it was fitted up as a Hanefi- 
yeh, ot basin for ablution before prayer, and still serves that purpose. 

On the N., W., and 8. sides of the court of the mosque run 
arcades, which were at one time converted into cells for the recep- 
tion of paupers and cripples. The character of the building, which 
must once have presented a veTy imposing and harmonious ap- 
pearance, has thus been seriously injured. The Arabian historians 
relate that Ahmed was so charmed with the edifice when completed 
that he presented the architect with 10,000 dinars, and he is said 
to have defrayed the whole of the cost of its construction out of 
one of the treasures found by him (p. 102). 

The pointed arches of the arcades are slightly depressed, and have 
a tendency towards the horseshoe form, a shape which is completely 
developed in the lower stories of the minaret (see below). Between 
the openings of the arcades are introduced pointed arches or niches, 
partly for purposes of support, and partly by way of ornament. 
The central pillars, which fell in 1814, once bore marble tablets 
with Cuflc inscriptions, recording the date of the building of the 
mosque, but these have since been destroyed. 

The Liwan, or Sanctuary, on the E. side, through which we 
have entered the building, contains five series of arcades, and in 
each of the other sides of the court there are two series. With a 
view to exclude all sound of the outside world, the external wall 
of this chamber of prayer was separated from the street by a row 
of shops, and the three other sides were isolated by the introduction 
of outer courts beyond them, enclosed by lofty walls (see Plan). 

All the angles in the interior are filled with columns built into 
the walls, extending two-thirds of the way up, without bases, and 
with imperfectly defined capitals in plaster. At certain places in 
the pillars and the masonry longitudinal beams of wood have been 
introduced for the purpose of strengthening the building, but they 
are visible only where the external incrustation has fallen off. The 
perforated attics, the gratings of stucco, the ornamentation, and 
the Cuflc inscriptions in stucco are all executed in strict conformity 
with the Byzantine-Arabian style. In the Kibla (PI. 1), however, 
we observe two marble columns with capitals of more pronounced 
Byzantine form. The upper part of the niche is adorned with gilded 
mosaic, and the lower part with inlaid marble, while above is a 
dome with stalactites. The *Mambar (PI. 2), a masterpiece of wood- 
carving, was probably restored when the mosque was repaired by 
El-Melik el-Mansur in the year 696 of the Hegira. 

268 Route 3. CAIRO. QamV Kait Bey. 

The roof, with its open timber-work and octagonal recesses, con- 
structed of the trunks of date-palms and overlaid with sycamore 
wood, formerly rested on 158 rectangular pillars of brick, coated 
with stucco. The friezes , bearing Cuflc inscriptions , are also of 
sycamore wood. 

The outer court on the W. side contains a Sakiyeh (P. 9) and 
the singular Minaret (PI. 8), with its external winding staircase, 
the design of which is said to have been suggested to Tulun by a 
strip of paper wound round his finger, and which is the only one 
of the kind except that of the Mabkhara of the Garni' Hakim 
(p. 279). The minaret commands a good survey of the oldest build- 
ings of Cairo, but, owing to its ruinous condition, the ascent is now 
prohibited. (Fee to the attendant who shows the Liwan 1-2 piastres). 

Outside the entrance to the mosque we turn to the right, and 
then to the right again. Passing the S. side of the mosque, where 
we observe several handsome mushrebiyehs on the left side of the 
street, and turning a little to the left, we traverse several lanes and 
alleys, built on what was formerly the hill of Kal'at el-Kebsh 
(p. 265), and reach the small, but once handsome — 

Garni' Kait Bey (PI. 48), which, like most of the buildings of 
its period, long lay in a neglected condition, and was only lately 
saved from complete ruin. This mosque was erected in the 15th 
cent. , and in plan resembles the Tomb of Kait Bey (p. 286). 

Kaid or Kait Bey (1468-96) was one of the last independent Mameluke 
sultans of Egypt. Both as a general and a diplomatist he successfully 
maintained his position against the Porte (Sultans Mohammed and Bajazid), 
and even inflicted serious losses on the Turks; but the refractory Mame- 
lukes obstructed his undertakings, and in 1496 compelled him to abdicate 
in favour of his son Mohammed, a boy of fourteen. 

The door, with its bronze covering, is about 45 ft. in height. 
The mosque is about 26 yds. in length and 22 yds. in width. The 
attics have almost entirely fallen in, but a graceful minaret still 
exists. Opposite the Kibla is a gallery, serving as a dikkeh, which 
is accessible from the staircase to the minaret. The principal 
arches, which approach the horseshoe shape , though distinctly 
pointed, are tastefully decorated. The mambaris richly embellished 
with wood-carving. The mosaics on the pavement and the walls 
are also worthy of notice. Bakshish, '/-2 piastre for each person. 

In a small place on the Khalig, or canal traversing the city, 
about 550 yds. to theN.W. of the mosque of Kait Bey, lies the G&mi' 
es-Seiyideh Zenab (PI. 72 ; F, G, 4), which was begun at the close 
of last century, but not completed until after the French invasion 
(in the year of the Hegira 1216), and which has been recently en- 
larged. The mosque, richly embellished with ancient columns, con- 
tains the tomb of Zenab, daughter of Imam'Ali, and granddaughter 
of the Prophet (her m6lid, see p. 237), consisting of a sarcophagus, 
enclosed by a bronze railing, with a lofty dome above it (shown by 
special permission only). — Outside the mosque, to the right of 
the entrance, is the sarcophagus of another Mohammedan saint. 

Library. CAIRO. 3. Route. 269 

A long series of tortuous streets, called Derb el-Oamdmtz 
('sycamore street'), running not far from the canal, leads hence 
towards the N. to the Boulevard MtJhemet Ali. After fully half-a- 
mile we come to a small open space by the canal, shaded by some 
fine acacias. The gate on the right leads to the viceroyal *Library 
[Kutubkhdneh, PI. 30), founded by the Khedive Isma'il on 24th 
March, 1870, in the left wing of the office of the minister of public 
worship. The collection consists of a number of books formerly 
preserved in various other institutions, and of others purchased or 
presented by the Khedive, and is dedicated to the use of the public. 
One of the finest presentations to the collection is the valuable 
library of Mustafa Pasha, which occupies a separate room. The 
whole library consists of about 25,000 vols., chiefly Arabic and 
Turkish works, and there is a small European department, prin- 
cipally containing scientific works in French, which is to be gradu- 
ally extended. The library is open to the public from 3 to 6 and 
from 7 to 10 o'clock by Arabian time, i.e. about three hours in the 
forenoon and three hours in the afternoon, and the officials are 
instructed to afford visitors all the information in their power. 
Books must be consulted in the reading-room, the use of which 
is accorded to persons provided with a permission from the ministry 
of public instruction or with a certificate from their consul , bear- 
ing their names, and available for a year. The library is closed on 
Fridays ; and during the month of Ramadan it is open in the 
afternoon only. The chief credit of arranging and increasing this 
fine collection of books belongs to two Germans, Dr. Stern and Dr. 
Spitta-Bey (d. 1883), but the present director is an Arab shekh, 
named Murad Effendi. 

The liberality with which the treasures of Muslim literature are thus 
thrown open to the European public is deserving of all praise. A spe- 
cial feature of the library, possessed by no other Oriental collection 
available to Franks , consists of the Masahif, or copies of the Koran, 
collected from various mosques of Cairo, and now preserved from de- 
struction. They are remarkable for their large size, superb execution, 
and great age, and constitute the finest existing specimens of Arabian art. 

The oldest specimen of the Koran is one in the Cufic, or early Arabian, 
character, 12 inches in length, and 8 3 /4 inches in width. It contains one- 
half of the Koran only, and is in a very damaged condition, having, 
moreover, once been injured by fire. The titles of the surehs are bordered 
with gold, and the carefully written text illuminated with coloured letters. 
According to the testimony of a shekh who saw the 'noble book' in 
its perfect condition this Koran was written by Ga'far es-Sddik, son of 
Mohammed el-Bakir, son of' 'Ali Zen el- f Abidin, son of Husen, son of 'Ali, 
son' of Abu Talib and son-in-law of the Prophet. This Ga'far was a great 
chemist and' scholar , whose pupil Tartusi , according to Ibn Khallikan 
(1,147, ed. of Biilak), once stated that he had written about 500 different 
pamphlets. He lived in the years 80-148 of the Hegira, and this Koran 
would thus be about 1150 years old. There is considerable doubt as to 
the accuracy of this story, but the MS. is certainly of very early date. 

The other fine large copies of the Koran, about twenty in all, are of later 
origin, most of them having been executed by order of the sultans of the 
Bahrite Mamelukes (1260-1382) and of the Circassian Mamelukes (1382-151G), 
while a few of them date from the still later period of the Osman sultans. 

270 Route 3. CAIRO. Library. 

One of the most interesting of these is the copy of 'Abd er-Razzdk, written 
by 'Abd er-Rahmdn ibn Abilfath in the year 590 of the Hegira, and dedicated 
to the mosque of Husen, HV4 by 8 3 /4 inches. This Koran is more remarkable 
for age than beauty. To the superscription of each sureh are added both 
the number of verses and that of the words and letters it contains, besides 
traditional utterances of the Prophet connected with the chapter in 
question, — a most laborious piece of work, resembling what has been 
done by Jewish scholars in preparing copies of the Old Testament. 
Another copy, dating from 635 of the Hegira, 12 3 /4 by 10'/2 inches, which 
once belonged to the mosque of Husen, has its titles in gold, but it is in 
a damaged condition. 

Next in interest is a Koran of Sultan Mohammed en-Na&ir ibn Se/eddin 
Kalaun (1293-1341), 21 by '14 inches, written by Ahmed Yd'suf, a Turk, in 
730 of the Hegira. It is written entirely in gilded characters, and there 
is also a second copy of a similar description. Several other Korans date 
from the reign of Sultan Sha'bdn (1363-77), grandson of the las't named, to 
whose mosque they were dedicated. The first of these, dating from 769, 
27>/2 by 19'/j inches, has not its titles written in the usual Cufic character, 
and the headings 'in the name of God the all-merciful' are in gold. Of 
the same date and similar size is the Koran of Khondabaraka, mother 
of Sultan Sha'ban. The first two pages are written in gilded and coloured 
characters, blue being the prevailing colour, and are illuminated with 
stars and arabesques ; the next two are in gold, embellished with faint 
arabesques ; and the whole work is written in a bold and excellent style. 
Another copy of Sultan Sha'ban, dating from 770, of the same width, but 
a little longer, contains some beautiful workmanship on the early pages. 
The text is wider than that of the last, and the book is bound in two vol- 
umes. Another and still larger copy, dating from the same year, measures 
32 3 /4 by 21 inches. All these last were destined for the school in the 
Khutt et-Tabbdnek (street of the straw-sellers), founded by Khondabaraka, 
the sultan's mother. Lastly we may mention another copy written in 
778, by order of the same prince, by 'AH ibn Mohammed el-Mokattib, and 
gilded by Ibrahim el-Amedi, from which we gather that these Korans 
were sometimes the work of several different hands. This copy measures 
28 by 20'/4 inches, and above each sureh is recorded the number of 
words and letters it contains. All these masahif are written on thick 
and strong paper, and vie with each other in magnificence. The designs 
exhibit no great variety, but they are executed with the most elaborate 
care and neatness. The text of these Korans is provided with red letters 
written above certain passages to indicate where the tone of the reader's 
voice is to be raised, lowered, or prolonged. 

The collection contains three Korans of the reign of Sultan Barktik 
(1382-99), the oldest of which, executed in 769, measures 41 by 32 inches. ' It 
was written by order of Muhammed ibn Muhammed, surnamed Ibn el-Butut, 
by ' Abderrahmdn es-Sdigh, with one pen in sixty days, and revised by Muham- 
med ibn Ahmed ibn 'AH, surnamed Elkufti. A second copy, of the same sul- 
tan's reign, and of similar size, has its first and last pages restored in the 
same style as those of other copies, but the modern workmanship is 
inferior to the ancient. A smaller Koran, of the year 801, measuring 23 
by 19'/2 inches, is written entirely in' gilded characters. 

To Sultan Farag (1399-1412), the son of Barkuk, once belonged a copy 
of the Koran dating from 814, and brought to the iibrary from the mosque 
of Muaiyad. It measures 37 by 29'/4 inches, and was also written by 
'Abderrahman es-Saigh, the same skilful penman who had been previously 
employed by Barkuk, and the author of a pamphlet, entitled 'Sand'al 
el-KilabeK 1 ('the art of writing'), and now preserved in this library. From 
the year 810 dates a fine copy, 38>/2 by 27 inches, written by Mdsa ibn 
Isma'il el-Kindni, surnamed Gagini, for Sultan Shikh el-MahmUdi Muaiyad 

A copy which once belonged to Kait-Bey (1468-96), dating from the 
year 909, or a century later than the last, and unfortunately in a very 
injured condition, is the largest Koran in the collection, measuring 44 3 /4 
by 35 inches. To the period of the Osman sultans belongs the small 

Library. CAIRO. 3. Route. 27 1 

mushaf of Safiya, mother of Sultan Mohammed Khan, who caused fifty- 
two copies to be written by Mohammed ibn Ahmed el-Khalil el-Tebrizi. 
It dates from 988, and measures 14 by 9'/3 inches. In it, as in one of the 
other copies, a black line alternates with a gilded one, and the first few 
pages are very beautifully executed. A copy of Husen-Bey Khemashtirgi, 
21V« by 1° 3 A inches, is written in a smaller character. 

The library also boasts of many other valuable Korans, chiefly written 
in the Persian character. One of these, 17'/j by 15 inches, presented by 
an Indian hokmdar to the Khedive, has a Persian commentary written in red 
between the lines of the text, and is beautifully illuminated at the beginning 
and at the end. Another copy, presented by a prince of Bukhara, contains 
four commentaries, two in Arabic by BSdawi and Gelalen, and two in Per- 
sian. Another gift of the same donor was the prayer-book 'flaldil el- 
KhairdV, written on a golden ground, and furnished with a Persian trans- 
lation. There is also a Koran about 9 inches only in length, illuminated 
with gilded flowers, and dating from the year 1109 of the Hegira. It was 
written by Mohammed Ruh Allah, and contains the thirty different parts 
of the Koran on thirty pages. Each line begins with an alif, the first 
letter of the Arabic alphabet — a most laborious performance. Another 
Koran, once the property of the Sultan Elga Elyusfi, measuring 20'/4 by 
f6 inches, is written in two different handwritings, the larger being named 
Thuluthi, and the smaller Neshi. The highest efforts of Arabian calligraphy 
and illumination are also displayed in several Moghrebin MSS., and in a 
number of single leaves bearing text3 from the Koran or sayings of the 

The ancient Muslims bestowed the utmost care on these precious 
copies of the Koran , and their descendants still entertain profound 
veneration for the sacred volume sent from heaven. The library possesses 
many other ancient and valuable MSS., but they are all entirely eclipsed 
by these Masahif. They possess, however, great interest for the Arabic 
scholar, to whom they are willingly exhibited, and form the first collec- 
tion of the kind in the world. The library is especially rich in numerous 
commentaries on the Koran and books containing traditions of the prophet, 
as well as works on the law of the four Muslim sects, particularly the 
Hanefites and Shafe'ites. The library likewise contains a number of his- 
torical, grammatical, and astrological works , some of which are very 
ancient, not a few being in the handwriting of their authors. Among 
the poetical MSS. the most important is that of Mutanebbi, dating from 
553 of the Hegira , with a commentary by Ibn Ginni , who also wrote a 
commentary on the Hamasa. A MS., entitled 'Poems of the Arabs', dates 
from the same year, and among the MSS. of the Hamasa is a Moghrebin or 
Algerian work, written 'from the recitation of the best-informed persons', 
and dating from 597. There is also an old MS. of the commentary of 
Merzfiki upon the collection of poems made by him. The fine MS. of 
Firdusi, embellished with many coloured illustrations, was presented by 
the Shah of Persia. The above enumeration will convey some idea of the 
valuable contents of the library, of which at present there is only an Arabic 
index, though a French catalogue is now in course of preparation. The 
printed books are less numerous than the MSS., and they are chiefly from 
the Btilak press. Some of the surplus copies derived from that source 
have been sold by the library. 

After visiting the library the traveller may inspect the neigh- 
bouring Dervish Monastery in the Habbanlyeh (PI. 11 ; permission 
must be procured from the minister of public worship). The mon- 
astery was erected in 1174 of the Hegira by Mustafa Agha, vizier 
of Sultan Selim. The round sebil is the most interesting object 
in the establishment. The building possesses a large court, Taised 
considerably above the street, and containing a few trees. Around 
the court are the cells of the dervishes, and adjoining it is a small 
mosque. With regard to the dervishes, see p. 150. 

272 Route 3. CAIRO. Garni' el- Muaiyad. 

Continuing to follow the same street, we cross the new Boule- 
vard Shekh Rihdn , and heyond it the Boulevard Mohammed r Ali 
(see p. 260). Beyond the latter we pass an open space, on the 
right side of which is the Palace of Mansur Pasha (PI. 85 ; un- 
attractive), and enter the street named after the Gami' el-Bendt 
(PI. 40 ; 'mosque of the girls'), which rises on the right. On the 
left, a little beyond the mosque, and on the farther bank of the 
canal, is the entrance to the house of Shekh Mufti, or Shekh ul-Isldm 
(PI. 95), the interesting interior of which is shown by special 
permission only (p. 241). The street then runs on towards the N., 
in a straight direction, and terminates in the Muski, near the Hotel 
du Nil (p. 231). 

If we leave the Palace of Mansur Pasha (see above) on the left, 
and follow a lane leading to the S.E. (right) corner of the place called 
after the old gate Bab el-Khalk, we reach after about 500 paces more 
the (left) old town-gate B&b ez-Zuweleh (PI. D, 2), built of solid 
blocks of stone, and resembling the Bab el-Futuh (p. 280) in plan. 
The S. side consists of two huge towers ; by that to the right are a 
number of stone and wooden balls, probably dating from the Mame- 
luke period. Tuman Bey, the last of the Circassian sultans of Egypt, 
was hanged outside this gate by Sultan Selim II., on 19th Rabi' el- 
Awwel, 923 of the Hegira (15th April, 1517; p. 243). This gate 
is also called Bab el-Mutawelli, from the old tradition that the most 
highly revered saint Kutb t el-Mutawelli has his abode behind the 
western gate, where he sometimes makes his presence known by a 
gleam of light. A beggar who spends the day here endeavours, by 
loudly invoking the saint, to excite the compassion of passers-by. 
From the inner (E.) gate hang bunches of hair, teeth, shreds of 
clothing, and other votive offerings placed here by sick persons 
who hope thereby to be cured of their diseases. 

Passing through the gate, we enter the street called Sukkariyeh 
(p. 254), where on the left we observe the handsome portal of the 
Garni' el-Muaiyad (PI. 57), a mosque which is connected with the 
gate of the city. The interior is undergoing restoration, and is, 
therefore, not easily accessible. This mosque was erected by Sultan 
Shekh el-Mahmudi Muaiyad (1412-21), of the dynasty of the 
Circassian Mamelukes, who had once been the leader of the 

t Kutb properly means pole or axis. This greatest of the Mohammedan 
saints is so named because the other weli's, who are divided into three 
classes (nakib, pi. nukaba; negib, pi. nugaba; bedil, pi. abddl), are con- 
sidered, as it were, to revolve round him. According to the generally 
received belief of the Muslims the favourite abode of this saint is on the 
roof of the Ka'ba, but the Egyptians regard the Bab ez-Zuweleh as at 
least his next most favoured dwelling-place, and therefore sometimes call 
it the gate of El-Mutawelli, i.e. 'of the reigning kutb'. The tomb of 
Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi (p. 225) is another resort of the kutb, who of 
course can instantaneously transport himself from Mecca to Cairo or 
elsewhere at pleasure. 

Odmi' el-Muaiyad. CAIRO. 3. Route. 273 

rebellion against Sultan Farag (p. 284), and who had been defeated 
by the sultan and imprisoned for a time at this spot. The edifice 
is also known as the Odmi' el-Ahmar, or the red mosque, from the 
colour of its exterior. 

Sultdn Shgkh el-Mahmddi Muaiyad, after having defeated and executed 
Sultan Farag, his predecessor, who was the son of Barkuk, the founder of the 
Circassian Mameluke dynasty of the Burgites (from the Arabic burg, or 
castle, and so called from their service in fortresses), ascended the throne 
in Nov. 1412. His reign was chiefly occupied with victorious campaigns 
against his unruly Syrian vassals, in which he was greatly aided by the 
military talents of his son Ibr&htm. He was a man of weak constitution, 
and the early death of Ibrahim is said to have accelerated his end ; 
while some authors state, on the other hand, that he caused Ibrahim to 
be poisoned from jealousy on account of his greater popularity. Muaiyad 
died on 13th Jan. 1421. Although, according to Egyptian historians, he 
died very wealthy, his coffers did not contain money enough after his 
death to defray the expenses of his funeral, all his property having been 
carried off by his emirs, while no one cared for the dead body. Though 
successful in his foreign policy, he had neglected to secure the good will 
of his people. His emirs were never sure of their lives, many of them 
having been imprisoned or executed on mere suspicion. As most of the 
public offices were sold to the highest bidder, his subjects were oppressed 
and maltreated by his judges and officials, who sought to indemnify 
themselves by practising all kinds of extortion. Notwithstanding all 
the misfortunes he brought upon Egypt by his maladministration and 
cupidity, Muaiyad had no lack of panegyrists, who remembered only that 
he was a pious Muslim, that he associated much with scholars, that he 
was distinguished as a theologian, an orator, and a poet, and that he had 
founded a mosque, a hospital, and a medreseh, or theological school. On 
several occasions, after having perjured himself with a view to compass 
the destruction of his opponents, he spent several days in a dervish mon- 
astery, attended the zikrs, and loaded the monastery with presents. Like 
the dervishes, he usually wore nothing but a woollen robe, and to prove 
his humility he commanded the preachers to descend one of the steps of 
their pulpits when they had occasion to mention his name. Towards 
religionists of other creeds he was intolerant in the highest degree. He 
exacted heavy contributions from Christians and Jews, and he re-enacted 
and rigorously enforced the sumptuary laws of 'Omar (A.D. 634-44), 
Mutawakkil (849-50), the Fatimite Khalif Hakim (996-1020; see p. 279), 
and Sultan Mohammed en-Nasir (1293-1341 • p. 277). Not only were the 
colours to be worn by the Christians and Jews prescribed (the costume 
of the former being dark blue, with black turbans, and a wooden cross 
weighing 51bs. hung round their necks ; that of the latter, yellow, with 
black turbans, and a black ball hung from their necks); but the fashion 
of their dress and length of their turbans, and even the costume of their 
women, were so regulated as entirely to distinguish them from the followers 
of the prophet. 

The handsome bronze gate at the entrance originally belonged 
to the mosque of Sultan Hasan (p. 260). The plan of the mosque 
resembles that of the mosque of 'Ami (p. 324) ; but this edifice is 
richer in its details, although without any strongly defined charac- 
teristics. Here, too, columns of many different kinds have been 
employed. On the right, by the Maksura, is the mausoleum of the 
sultan, and on the left that of his family. The sanctuary is separated 
by a railing from the inner court (Sahn el-Gami'), which is shaded 
with acacias and sycamores. The ruins on the S. side are those of 
a public bath which was formerly connected with the mosque, but 
its plan is scarcely now traceable. The mosque has three minarets, 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. (g 

274 Route 3. CAIRO. Garni' el-Ghuri. 

two of 'which rise above the outbuildings of the Bab ez-Zuweleh (see 
above), the city-gate connected with the sacred edifice. 

[Outside the gate, towards the S.E.. to the left of the sentry, 
is the Derb el-Ahmar, or 'red way', recently called Rue de la Cita- 
delle, leading to the Citadel (p. 262). About 450 yds. from the 
Bab Mutawelli, by a bend of the road towards the right, rises the 
Garni' el-Werddni (or Marddni; PI. 69), with its graceful minaret. 
The court, now closed, and used as a magazine, is adorned with 
slender columns and pointed arches.] 

Following the Sukkariyeh street to the left (N.) for about 100 yds. 
more, we observe on the right the modern Sebil of Mohammed 'Alt, 
in marble (PI. 92), a fountain of pleasing appearance, though 
imperfect in its details. To the left, about 270 yds. farther on, 
where the street now takes the name of El-Ghuriyeh (p. 254), we 
observe, slightly projecting into the road, the *Gfi.mi r el-Ghuri 
(PI. 42), and opposite to it the *SebU and Medreseh erected by the 
same founder. The two facades , dating from the second half of 
the 10th cent, of the Hegira, and presenting a very harmonious 
effect, are most interesting. The walls of the interior are adorned 
with inlaid figures. A shirt of the Prophet brought by Sultan el- 
Ghuri from Mecca , was formerly shown at this mosque , but it 
is now said to be preserved in the Citadel, where it is shown once 
annually to the higher government officials only, who have the 
privilege of kissing the precious relic. The Sebil and Medreseh 
have been skilfully restored by the architect of the Wakf, a German 
named Franz-Bey, and are to be extended and adapted to contain 
the viceroyal library (p. 269). 

Kansuweh el-GMlri (1501-16), once a slave of Sultan Kait Bey, was 
chosen sultan on 20th April, 1501, after the downfall of Tuman Bey, who 
had reigned for one hundred days only. Although upwards of sixty years 
of age when he ascended the throne, he still possessed considerable vigour 
and energy. He kept the unruly emirs in check , and neutralised the 
influence of the older Mamelukes by the purchase of new slaves. Although 
himself of servile origin , he was as great a lover of splendour as if he 
had belonged to a princely family. His stables contained the finest horses 
in Egypt, his rings the most precious jewels; his dinner-service was of 
the purest gold , and his palace and citadel were the resort of poets, 
minstrels , and musicians. He improved the roads and canals of Egypt, 
founded schools and mosques, and constructed fortifications; but, in order 
to accomplish all this , he imposed burdensome taxes on his people. On 
one occasion he levied a subsidy on all landed property in Egypt and 
Syria amounting to the value of ten months' produce, and he taxed the 
estates of religious institutions still more heavily than those of private 
individuals. A similar tax was imposed on mills, ships, beasts of burden, 
and irrigation machinery, and all government pensions were withheld for 
ten months, while large sums were arbitrarily extorted from the merchants. 
At the same time he levied heavy dues on imports and exports, debased 
the coinage, and taxed the inspectors of markets, who indemnified them- 
selves by exactions from the dealers. Already seriously injured by the 
discovery of the Cape route to India by the Portuguese , the trade of 
Egypt was terribly depressed by these tyrannical proceedings. Having at 
length been made aware by the Venetians of the dangers which threatened 
his country, Kansuweh el-Ghuri endeavoured to protect its commerce by 
equipping a fleet for service against the Portuguese in India, and with 1 

Muristan Kalaun. CAIRO. 3. Route. 275 

it in 1508 he gained a naval victory over Lorenzo, son of the viceroy 
Francisco d'Almeida, near Shawl in Beluchistan ; but the following year 
his fleet was compelled to retreat to Arabia in a shattered condition. 
Meanwhile Husen had conquered Hijaz and Yemen, and added them to 
the Egyptian dominions, on which occasion El-Ghuri caused the whole 
of the S. side of the Haram at Mecca to be rebuilt (in 906 of the Hegira), 
as recorded there by an inscription under the Bab Ibrahim ; but these 
districts soon threw off his yoke and placed themselves under the suzerainty 
of the Osmans, and, before his newly equipped fleet reached India, the 
sultan himself died. On 24th Aug. 1516, while fighting against the army 
of the Osman sultan Selim I. in the plain of Dabik (to the N. of Aleppo), 
he is said to have fallen down in a fit of apoplexy, and to have been 
slain by his own followers, either from motives of cupidity, or to 
prevent his being captured by the enemy. His head was afterwards cut 
off and carried as a trophy to the victor. 

Farther on, we leave the Odmi' el-Ashraf (PI. 37 ; uninterest- 
ing) to the left, and, about 220yds. from the Garni' el-Ghuri, 
reach the Rue Neuve (Muski, p. 253). 

N.E. Quarters. Muristan Kalaun. Tomb of Sultan Mohammed 

en-Ndsir ibn Kalaun. Odmi' Barkuklyeh. Odmi' Hakim. Bab 

en-Nasr. Bab el-Futuh. Tombs of the Khallfs. 

Starting from the Ezbekiyeh and ascending the Muski as far as 
the El-Ghuriyeh street, on the right (p. 254), and the Bazaar of 
the Coppersmiths (en-Nahhasin ; PI. C, 2 ; p. 256), on the left, 
we follow the latter, passing the entrance to the Khan el-Khalili 
on the right (p. 255), and after a few hundred paces observe on 
the left three mosques, adjoining each other , with staring red and 
white striped facades (p. 180). The first of these is the — 

Murist&n Kalaun (PI. 73), once a vast hospital ('muristan', 
from the Persian word bimaristan) , the greater part of which is 
now in a ruinous condition, and used as a workshop by copper- 
smiths and tinkers. The tomb of the founder, however, which 
also serves the purpose of a mosque, is tolerably preserved. The 
foundation-stone was laid by Sultan el-Mansur Kalaun (1279-90) 
in the year 683 of the Hegira, and the whole edifice is said to have 
been completed within thirteen months. 

Passing over a son of BSbars, who was a minor, Kalaun ascended the 
throne of Egypt in Nov. 1279. He gained a victory over a rebellious governor 
of Damascus ; he defeated the Mongolians , who were threatening Syria, 
at Horns; he chastised the princes of Armenia and Georgia for allying 
themselves with the Mongolians, who had invited Pope Nicholas IV., 
Edward I. of England, and Philip le Bel of France to attack Syria, offering 
them the necessary horses, beasts of burden, and provisions ; he entered 
into treaties with Emperor Rudolph, the Genoese, Alphonso III. of Castile, 
Jacopo of Sicily, the prince of Yemen, and the prince of Ceylon ; he took 
the town of Ladikiyeh (Laodicea) from the prince of Tripoli, and then 
Tripoli itself, which after the death of Bohemund had fallen into the hands 
of Bertram of Gibelet ; and he made preparations to wrest from the Christi- 
ans their fortress of r Akka (Acre), the only one still held by them in Syria. 
Before, however, he could proceed to carry out this last enterprise, he 
died on 10th Nov. 1290. Kalaun is immoderately praised by the Egyptian 
historians. He was, indeed, less bloodthirsty than Bebars, and less 
tyrannical towards his subjects; but in the prosecution of his schemes 


276 Route 3. 


Murist&n Kalaiin. 

of aggrandisement he committed flagrant breaches of justice and honour, 
deeming no treaty sacred, if its violation promised him any advantage. 

The Muristan, the finest monument of Kalaun's reign, was so extensive, 
that it contained a separate ward for every known disease (see Plan), 
besides rooms for women ; and connected with it were abundant stores of 
provisions and medicines. It also contained a large lecture-room, in which 
the chief physician delivered medical lectures. Not only the poor, but even 
persons of means , were received gratuitously as patients , and the con- 

1. Entrance (Portal) from 
the street En-Nahha- 

4. Entrance to the tomb- 

5. Vestibule (diwan of 
the administration). 

7. Entrance to the Mau- 

8. Tomb of KalaQn. 

The other numbers in the Plan are intended to convey an idea of the 
former arrangements of the hospital, but some of the rooms are in a 
dilapidated condition , while others are now used for various other 
purposes. No. 2. Closed entrance to the Mausoleum ; 3. Entrance to No. 11. 
formerly part of the mosque ; 9. Minaret ; 10. Basin ; 12. Room for prayer ; 
13. Magazines ; 14. Surgical room ; 15. Rooms of the physicians ; 16-19. Rooms 
for patients ; 20. Attendants' room ; 21. Court ; 22. ShSkh ; 23. Magazine • 
24. Dead-house; 25. Kitchen; 26, 27. Cells for the insane. ' 

Tomb Moh. en-Nasir. CAIRO. 3. Route. 277 

sumption of food was so large that the hospital employed several officials 
for the sole purpose of buying provisions and keeping accounts. Besides 
these officials there were a numher of others, whose duty it was to collect 
the various revenues set apart for the support of the institution. In the 
tomb-mosque the Koran and the religious traditions connected with it 
were publicly taught, the teachers and the pupils both being supported 
by government. A large adjacent apartment contained the library, which 
was well stocked with exegetical treatises on the Koran, books of tradi- 
tions, grammars, and medical, theological, legal, and literary works, and 
was kept in good order by a librarian and five assistants. The school- 
building contained four lecture-rooms for the teachers of the four schools 
of Mohammedanism (p. 149); and there was also a school for children, 
where sixty orphans were maintained and educated gratuitously. 

In the tomb-chamber are still preserved articles of dress which once 
belonged to Kalaun , and are populary supposed to possess miraculous 
virtues. Thus, the shawl ('immeh) of his turban is supposed to cure 
headaches , and one of his heavy kaftans, wrapped round the body of the 
patient for 24 hours, is said to be an infallible remedy for ague. This 
superstitious belief in the healing powers of the sultan's clothing is 
probably due to the fact that he devoted much attention to medicine. 

The Portal (PI. 1 ; Nos. 1-8 are the only parts of the building 
now preserved ; the other numbers on the plan show the former 
arrangements), the most interesting part of the whole edifice , is 
constructed of black and white marble, and is of imposing height. 
The doors still show traces of their former covering of bronze. The 
ceiling of the entrance, with its open beams, is also very effective. 

The corridors , most of which are vaulted in the Gothic style, 
appear to some extent to have lost their original regularity in 
consequence of their restoration by Seyyid el-Mabruki and Ahmed 
Pasha Taher during the present century. 

The second door (PI. 4) on the right leads to the Vestibule 
(PI. 5) of the Tomb of Kalaun, now used as an office by the ad- 
ministrators of the Wakf. The tomb itself contains a fine granite 
column, and the lower parts of the walls are covered with mosaics 
in marble. The kibla (prayer-recess), with its mosaics, its beautiful 
dwarf-arcades , and its shell-shaped ornamentation, is also worthy 
of notice. The disposition of the pairs of windows resembles that 
which occurs in Christian churches of the Romanesque period. 
The stucco tracery with which the windows are filled should also be 

Adjacent to the Muristan is the *Tomb of Sultan Mohammed 
en-Nisir ibn Kalaun (1293-1341 ; PI. 56) , dating from 698 of 
the Hegira. 

In 1293 Mohammed en-N&sir ibn Kalatln, son of the Kalaun above 
mentioned , when only nine years of age, succeeded his elder brother 
Khalil, who is better known as El-Ashraf (p. 255). At the beginning of 
his reign sanguinary feuds broke out between Ketboga, his vicegerent, 
and Shujai, his vizier. In Dec. 1294, Ketboga, having got rid of his 
antagonist, usurped the sceptre, but two years later was dethroned by 
the discontented emirs, and was succeeded by Lajin, son-in-law of Bebars, 
and once a slave of Kalaun, who is said to have been a German by birth, 
and to have been brought to Egypt when ten years old. Lajin having 
been assassinated in Jan. 1299, Nasir, who had meanwhile resided at 
Kerak , a Syrian fortress to the E. of the Dead Sea, was recalled. Although 
he had gained several victories over the Mongolians, who were threaten- 

278 Route 3. CAIRO. Bbrkuktyeh Mosque. 

ing Syria and even Egypt itself, he was still treated by his emirs as a 
youth under age , and the real rulers of the country were Sallar , his 
chancellor, and Bebars II. Jashengir, the prefect of his palace, who had 
originally been a Circassian slave. In 1309 Nasir returned to Kerak, for 
the avowed purpose of undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca, but on his 
arrival there he announced his intention to throw off the trammels of 
tutelage , and for a time to establish his residence at Kerak. The 
consequence was that he was declared at Cairo to have forfeited his 
throne, and Bebars II. was proclaimed sultan in his stead (April, 1309). 
The Syrian emirs , however , remained faithful to Nasir, and with their 
aid he succeeded in re-establishing his authority in Egypt, although the 
nominal 'Abbaside Khalif residing at Cairo had pronounced him an 
outlaw and declared war against him. The three chief traits in Nasir's 
character , distrust , vindictiveness , and cupidity , now became very 
prominent, and there was no promise or oath which he deemed inviolable. 
He treated his emirs with the utmost capriciousness, presenting them 
with rich gifts , or ordering them to be executed , as the humour seized 
him; and this feature of his character has been aptly described by 
an Arabian historian, who declares 'that he fattened his emirs, and killed 
them when thoroughly fattened , in order that all they had swallowed 
might return to him.' Ismatl Abul Fida (p. 201), however, one of his 
emirs, retained his master's favour till the time of his death, and even 
had the title of sultan conferred upon him. Towards the mass of the 
population, on the other hand, Nasir was always liberal and condescend- 
ing ; he abolished oppressive taxes , punished hoarders of grain , and 
distributed corn in times of famine. He was tolerant towards the 
Christians also, and was anxious to abrogate the regulations about dress 
(p. 273) which certain fanatics had induced him to make in his earlier 
years, but was unable to carry out his wish. He even appointed Christian 
officials, particularly in the custom-house and finance departments. His 
chief object was to surround himself with officers who could procure him 
money, to defray the enormous expenses of his court, to gratify his taste 
for horses (of which no fewer than 3000 are said to have been reared in 
his stables annually), and his love of building. He connected Alexandria 
anew with the Nile by means of a navigable canal, and constructed other 
canals also, such as that from Khankah to Siryakus, and embankments. 
In spite of his tyranny, he therefore enjoyed a considerable share of 
popularity, to which his stringent enforcement of the religious laws and 
his indulgence towards the clergy , so long as they did not interfere in 
politics , farther contributed. On 6th Jan. 1341 Nasir died the death of 
a pious and penitent Muslim. As soon as the emirs perceived that his 
end was near, they seized upon the whole of his property, so that after 
his death not even a suitable pall to cover the corpse could be found. 
His miserable funeral took place by night, attended by a few emirs only, 
and lighted by a single lantern. Thus, according to his Arabian biographers, 
terminated the reign of the powerful sultan whose dominions had extended 
from the frontier of Abyssinia to Asia Minor, and from the Euphrates to 
Tunis, but who, though wealthy and the father of twelve sons, died like 
a stranger and a childless man, and was buried like a pauper. 

The late -Romanesque portal, in marble, with its round 
arch, is strikingly different from all other Arabian portals of the 
kind. It was originally erected at Acre in Syria, after the de- 
struction of which it was transferred to Cairo in A.D. 1291 by the 
Egyptian Mameluke Sultan El-Ashraf (p. 255) as a trophy of vic- 
tory. The only object of interest in the interior is the well- 
defined and beautifully moulded Arabian stucco-work, remains of 
which are preserved. 

The third large building is the Barkukiyeh Mosque (PI. 39), 
erected at the close of the 14th cent, and containing the tomb o 

Garni' el-Hakim. CAIRO. 3. Route. 279 

the daughter of Barkuk. It possesses a marble portal and a hronze 
door, but the interior is uninteresting. 

BarMk (1382-99) , a Circassian slave , succeeded in raising himself to 
the throne by setting aside Haggi, a boy of six years, and great-grandson 
of Mohammed en-Nasir. He' was proclaimed sultan in Nov. 1382, being 
the first of the Circassian Mameluke sovereigns (p. 104). His accession to 
the throne, which had been the result of treachery and intrigues of every 
kind, so exasperated the emirs that they conspired against him and 
dethroned him in June, 1389. In Jan. 1390, however, after having de- 
feated his enemies, Barkuk celebrated his triumphal entry into Cairo. 
During his reign the Mongolians under Timur and the Osmans under 
Bajesid encroached on the frontiers of his empire, but Barkuk was not 
sufficiently energetic to resist their advances. He died in 1399. 

These three mosques , with their three lofty minarets, present 
an imposing , though not quite regular, facade. Opposite to them 
is a modern sebil. Continuing to follow the Nahhasin Bazaar 
(p. 256), which is generally enlivened by busy traffic, towards the 
left, we come to another fountain with a School (PI. 91), erected 
by a certain ' Abder-Rahmdn Kikhya, the founder of several religious 
edifices (p. 291). An arm of the Nile is said once to have flowed 
between the Tomb of Kalaun and this fountain. 

Passing to the right of the fountain , we reach the beginning 
of the Oameliyeh street , the seat of the wholesale trade of Cairo 
(p. 257), the warehouses of which occupy the okellas (p. 257), or 
inner courts, of this part of the town. The finest of these courts, 
which present no great attraction, is the Okella Sulflkar Pasha 
(PI. 74), opposite the corner where our street bends to the N. The 
entrance, with a kind of star- vaulting , and the court, with its 
colonnades and mushrebiyehs , should be noticed. To the left, at 
the comer of the lane by which we have come , is the Medreseh 
Gamellyeh (PI. 32), with a late-Romanesque gateway, the original 
form of which is scarcely now traceable owing to the restoration 
and bedaubing it has undergone. At the back of this school is a 
tomb-mosque. Following the lane towards the N. for about 500 
paces more, we reach a transverse lane on the left, which leads 
to the entrance of the — 

GS,mi r el-H&kim (PI. 43), erected at the beginning of the 5th 
cent, of the Hegira, on the plan of the Garni' Ibn Tulun, by Khalif 
El-Hakim, of the Fatimite dynasty (p. 102), the founder of the sect 
of the Druses. A Cufic inscription over the E. gate gives the date 
393 of the Hegira (A.D. 1003). 

El-Hdkim (9S6-1TOO), the third Fatimite Khalif, succeeded his father 
'Aziz when scarcely eleven years old. His bigoted attachment to the Shi'ite 
views (p. 153), and his intolerance towards the Sunnites, Christians, and 
Jews, rendered him unpopular with most of his subjects of the upper ranks. 
With the lower classes, on the other hand, consisting partly of Shi'ites and 
partly of Sunnites , he ingratiated himself by his liberality , his religious 
and unassuming mode of life , his zeal for the discipline of his soldiers , his 
rigorous administration of justice , and his persecution of the Jews and 
Christians. But while he wore the plainest kind of clothing and prayed 
daily among the people, be frequently caused his viziers and officials to 
be executed from mere caprice. Down to the year 1017 he was a benefactor 
to the poor, but a sanguinary tyrant towards the rich, the great, and those 

280 Route 3. CAIRO. Bab en-Nasr. 

who differed from him in creed. Till then he had been a devout Shi'ite 
and exacted obedience from his subjects as their lawful Imam, but had 
repudiated any homage approaching to deification. He now, however, 
devoted himself entirely to the Ultra-Shi'ites , who elevated him to the 
rank of a god. He was persuaded of his divinity by Mohammed ibn Isma'il 
ed-Darazi, a cunning Persian sectary, who called on his people to recognise 
him as a deity. Thenceforward El-Hakim discontinued his attendance 
at the mosques , ceased to organise pilgrimages , and exacted from his 
subjects the veneration due to a god. Islam became a matter of indifference 
to him , and he permitted the Christians and Jews who had embraced 
the religion of the prophet to return to their former faith, although by 
Mohammedan law such conduct was punishable with death. All the 
suppressed churches and synagogues were re-established, and their property 
restored to them, and the sumptuary laws were repealed. At length, on 
the night of 12th Feb. 1021, El-Hakim disappeared, having probably been 
assassinated while taking one of his nightly walks on the Mokattam 
hills. The Druses (the sect founded by Ed-Darazi , above mentioned), 
however, believe, that El-Hakim voluntarily withdrew from the world in 
consequence of its sinfulness, and that he will one day re-appear and be 
worshipped by all nations as the last incarnation of the Deity. 

Until quite recently the greater part of the old mosque lay in 
ruins, but the heaps of rubbish have now been removed or levelled, 
so as to clear the great court for the reception of the building ma- 
terials of the Wakf. The central part of the sanctuary was restored, 
as far as its advanced stage of dilapidation allowed, in order to 
contain a museum of Arabian art, which will shortly be opened. 
The court of the old mosque is to be occupied by a school of art. 

The whole building occupies an area about 400 ft. long and 
350 ft. wide. The great court was adjoined on the side next the 
sanctuary by five aisles or arcades, on the W. by two, and on the 
N. and S. by three. These were supported by brick pillars, 10 ft. 
high and 472 ft. thick, incrustedwith stucco. The pillars are rounded 
at the corners and bear pointed arches approaching the horseshoe 
form. The ceiling and the wooden bolts were formed of the stems 
of the date-palm. The Cuflc inscriptions and arabesques are of little 
artistic value, and the entire structure was much less carefully and 
artistically built than its model, the Garni' Tulun. — On the N. 
side of the mosque are two massive Mabkhara (p. 177), with bases 
executed in the style of the Egyptian pylons. That at the N.E. 
corner is connected with the old town-walls, the bastions of which 
bear inscriptions dating from the French occupation of 1799. 

Returning to the lane by which we have come, we follow it to 
the N. , passing on the left an okella with an interesting gateway 
enriched with stalactite decoration, and a facade adorned with 
Arabian wood-carving. We now reach the — 

Bab en-Nasr, or 'Gate of the Help of God', the plan of which 
was probably derived from the Roman castle of Babylon (p. 320). 
The ancient city-wall to the W. connects this gate with the 
similar Bab el-Futuh, or 'Gate of Victory'. These two gates, 
together with the fortified mosque of Sultan Hakim situated be- 
tween them (see above), formed a strong position for the troops 
of Napoleon , whose cannons have only recently been removed 



3. Route. 281 

from the terraces of the gates. The casemates and towers still bear 
French names cut in the bastion walls. On payment of a small 
bakshish, the visitor may ascend the Bab en-Nasr and the city- 
wall, and walk along the top of the latter to the Bab el-Futfih. 
These gates, the most important of the sixty which once existed 
in the walls of Cairo, were erected by the vizier Berd Gamali in 
the 11th century. The Bab en-Nasr in particular is built of well- 
hewn stone, and has vaulted winding staircases in the interior, 
groined vaulting in the gateway, girders with a kind of hatched 
moulding, and cornices with a corbeled frieze. Over the entrance 
are a slab with a Curie inscription, and decorative shields. The 
principal entrance of the Bab el-Futiih is flanked with semicir- 
cular towers, and that of the Bab en-Nasr with square towers. The 
spaces between the inner and outer gates are vaulted. 

We leave the Bab en-Nasr and turn to the right , crossing a 
Mohammedan burial-ground, on the left side of which , on a small 

Is 11 

m ni: 

i r 

■J M 




W \J 

Bdb en-Nasr. Bdb el-Fittdh. 

(From the side next the town.) 

eminence not far from the road, is interred J. L. Burckhardt 
(d. 1817), the distinguished Oriental traveller, whose works are 
still of high authority. 

Before leaving the city-wall to the right , we observe on the 
left two towers with iron basins, being the reservoirs of the Water- 
works supplying the palace of the Khedive in the 'Abbasiyeh and 
the Citadel. In front of these, but less visible, are the five large 
filters for purifying the town supply. 

The water is pumped into these filters by engines of 150-horse power, 
situated in the Isma'iliya quarter, on the canal of that name. A smaller 
pump adjoining the filters is used for providing the Citadel with water. The 
first temporary pumping machinery, erected in 1865-66, at Kasr el-'Ain, 
was employed in filling the basins in the desert, and also in' supplying a 
small part of the city. The distribution of water is now effected by a 
double system of pipes , through one set of which the filtered water is 
forced to a height of about 80ft., while the other brings unfiltered water 
from the neighbourhood of Bulak for the purpose of watering the streets 
and the gardens , conducting it to a height of about 30 ft. only. The 
engines in the Isma'iliya quarter are capable of supplying the town 
with 30,000 cubic metres, or about 111,000 cubic feet, of water per day. 
The government pays 40 centimes for each cubic metre of filtered water 

282 Route 3. CAIRO. Tomb a of the Khalifa. 

consumed, and 25 centimes for the same quantity of unflltered water. 
The lowest rate payable by small families for filtered water is 8 tr. per 
month. The whole length of the pipes for filtered water, the largest 
of which are 2 ft. in diameter, amounts to 19 miles, and that of the pipes 
for unflltered water to about 6 miles. The cost of the works amounted 
to 5 million francs. 

The very dusty road next leads to the unimportant tomb of 
Shekh Qalal, a little beyond which we reach the so-called — 

**Tombs of the Khalifs, 

which extend along the E. side of the city, and which, beyond the 
Citadel, are known as Tombs of the Mamelukes (p. 327)t. 

All these tombs, most of which are of vast extent, were once richly 
endowed , each being provided with a numerous staff of shekhs and at- 
tendants, who with their families resided within their precincts. At the 
beginning of the present century the revenues of these establishments 
were confiscated , so that the tombs are now falling to ruin. The de- 
scendants of the mosque attendants and other Arabs have since taken up 
their quarters among the ruins, and the old necropolis has thus been 
converted into a kind of suburb of Cairo, the inhabitants of which often 
pester strangers with their importunities. 

A visit to the tombs is exceedingly interesting, particularly towards 
sunset, owing to the very curious and novel picture they present. They 
may be reached by carriage, but the traveller will be more independent 
on donkey-back. The nectssary order of admission from the Wakf mi- 
nistry may be obtained through the consulate (see p. 241). 

Points of View. (1) From the road, approaching from the Bab en- 
Nasr, a little beyond the tomb of the shekh -, (2) From the S.W. corner 
(see Plan) , at the foot of the Citadel ; (3) From the '"Windmill Hill 
opposite the end of the Rue Neuve, the E. prolongation of the Muski. 
This last point is specially recommended as it also affords an admirable 
survey of the town , the Uile , and the Pyramids , and is very easily 
reached. Half-an-hour of leisure before sunset can hardly be better spent 
than on this hill (p. 287), but the beggars are often troublesome. 

The N.E. group of these mausoleums (on the left when ap- 
proached from Bab en-Nasr) consists of the Tomb of Sultan Abu 
Sa'id Kansuweh el-Ghuri (p. 274), a cube surmounted by an 
elongated dome , and two tomb-mosques , one of Sultan el-Ashraf, 
with a handsome minaret, the other of Emir Yusuf, son of Bursbey 
(see p. 285). These two mosques, which present no attraction, are 
now used for military purposes, and are not shown without special 
permission from the minister of war. As visitors are prevented by 
the sentry from approaching them, we leave them to the left, and. 
proceed in a straight direction to the — 

*Tomb-Mosque of Sultan Barktik (p. 279), with its two superb 
domes and its two minarets. Under the N. dome are the tombs of 
the male, and under the S. dome those of the female members of 
the family. The present Entrance (PI. 1) at the S.W. corner is in 
a ruinous condition. The old Principal Entrance (PI. 18) at the 

t The name 'Tombs of the Khalifs' is historically a misnomer. 
Both the Bahrite (1258-1382) and the Circassian Mameluke sultans 
(1382-1517) were nominally dependent on Khalifs of the house of the 
'Abbasides resident in Egypt (p. 104), but treated them as mere puppets • 
and it was these real monarchs of Egypt, and not the Khalifs who built 
these large and superb mausoleums. ' 

Agcent of <he ^Mojf a/ttam 

Tombs of the Khalifa. CAIRO. 

3. Route. 2oj 

The accompanying plan of Barkuk's Tomb-Mosque will convey an 
idea of its original extent and arrangements ; but a considerable part of 
it is now in ruins. 

1. Present Entrance. 2. Vestibules, a, b, 
c, d. Large Quadrangle (Hosh , or Sahn el- 
Gami'). c, d, e, f. Sanctuary for Liwan el- 
Garni'). 3. Small Court with Fountain. 4. 
Large Basin (Hanefiyeh). 5. Kibla. 6. Mam- 
bar. 7. KursL 8. Dikkeh. '9, 10, 11. Col- 
onnades (almost all in ruins). 12. Tomb of 
Sultan Barkuk. 13. Tombs of members of 
the'Harem.' 14. Vestibule. 15. Apartments 
once occupied by the shekh and officials of 
the mosque. 16. Rooms for guests and stu- 
dents. 17. Sebil with School. 18. Principal 
Entrance. 19. Hall in which the Sultan 
granted audiences. 

SlcUre » 

284 Route 3. CAIRO. Tombs of the Khalifs. 

N. W. angle, now closed, has an architrave of alabaster ; the threshold 
is of granite, and the ceiling consists of a dome with pendentives. 

The Vestibule (PI. 2) of the S. facade, through which we reach 
the interior, has a fine star-shaped dome. "We pass thence into the 
Hosh, or Sahn el-Gami' (PI. a, b, c, d), the large Quadrangle, in 
the centre of which is the Hanefiyeh (PI. 4), or fountain for ablu- 
tion. Beneath the larger (N.E.) dome is the Tomb of Sultan Barkuk 
(PI. 12), who reigned from 19th Ramadan, 784, to 15th Shawal, 
801 (comp. p. 279). Adjoining the tomb is a column, said to 
represent the height of the deceased , and inscribed with several 
biographical data. A black stone here (ironstone), when rubbed 
on granite under water, is believed by the Muslims to communicate 
sanatory properties to the discoloured water. 

The adjacent tomb is that of Sultan Farag, son of Barkuk. 

Farag (1399-1412) had scarcely ascended the throne (20th June,' 1399), 
as a boy of thirteen years of age, before the Osmans began to threaten the 
Syrian dominions of the Egyptian empire \ and Tinmr (Tamerlane), in nig 
war against the Osmans, shortly afterwards defeated the Syrian emirs, who 
had opposed him, near Aleppo. Farag himself thereupon headed a cam- 
paign against Timur, and proceeded victoriously as far as Damascus ; but 
owing to dissensions among his emirs he was obliged to return to Cairo 
and leave Syria to its fate. After the defeat of the Turks under Bajesid 
by the Mongols under Timur at the battle of Angora, Farag was com- 
pelled to enter into negociations with Timur, and he is even said to 
have sent him Egyptian coins bearing the Mongolian conqueror's name 
in token of his subjection. The death of Timur, however (18th Dec. 
1403) , saved Egypt from the risk of being conquered by the Mongols. 
The latter years of Farag's reign were constantly disturbed by the re- 
bellions of his emirs, particularly Shekh el-Mahmudi Muaiyad (see p. 273). 
He was at length compelled by the insurgents to capitulate at Damascus, 
whither he had proceeded with his army, and was executed (May, 1412). 

The third tomb contains the remains of a brother of Farag, who 
reigned seventy days only. The S. Mausoleum (PI. 13) contains 
the tombs of the female members of the family. The *Mambar 
(PI. 6), in hard limestone , one of the most beautiful existing 
specimens of Arabian sculpture, was presented by Kait Bey 
(p. 268). The *Minarets, with their three galleries (besides the 
balconies below them), are borne by pendent cornices. 

The symmetrical plan of the edifice, its massive masonry, and 
the symmetrical disposition of the rows of pilasters with domes, 
constitute this mosque one of the most perfect examples of Arabian 
architecture in existence ; and, notwithstanding its ruinous con- 
dition, it still presents a most imposing appearance. 

To the W. (right) of this tomb-mosque is the Tomb of Sultan 
Suleman, containing interesting sculpture in the dome and in- 
scriptions in fayence , now partly destroyed. To the E. of this 
tomb (and to the S. of Barkuk's mosque) is another handsome dome- 
covered tomb, the founder of which is unknown ; and there are other 
interesting dome-structures of various forms , carefully executed 
but of uncertain origin. Adjoining the mausoleum of Suleman is 
the tomb of the Seb'a Benat (seven maidens). The dome with its 

Tombs of the KhaUfs. CAIRO. 3. Route. 285 

pendentives , is of a very elongated form , and differs considerably 
from those of the neighbouring mausolea , being more similar to 
those of the so-called Mameluke tombs (p. 327). 

Opposite the last-named tomb, to the E. (left), is the Tomb- 
Mosque of Bursbey (Berisbai), completed in 1431. 

Bursbey (1422-38), who had for a time been the vicegerent of a young 
son of Tatar, ascended the throne on 1st April, 1422. After having de- 
feated some of his rebellious vassals, he determined to attack Cyprus, 
one of the chief hotbeds of piracy. In the course of the third of his ex- 
peditions he succeeded in capturing Janus , King of Cyprus , whom he 
carried in triumph to Cairo. On paying a ransom of 200,000 denarii , and 
promising to pay the sultan an annual tribute, he was sent back to Cyprus 
as a vassal of Egypt. Bursbey was, however, less successful in his battles 
with the Turcoman Kara Yelek, who had allied himself with Timur, the 
prince of the Mongols. A contemplated expedition against Egypt, which 
was to have been commanded by Shah Rokh, a son of Timur, had to be 
abandoned in consequence of the breaking out of a pestilence throughout 
the East. In order to prevent Kara Yelek from joining Shah Eokh, 
Bursbey attacked him in N. Syria, in 1436, but was compelled by his 
refractory emirs to conclude a dishonourable peace , notwithstanding 
which he shortly afterwards entered Cairo with all the pomp of a con- 
queror. Shah Rokh then demanded the cession to himself of the privilege 
of sending to Mecca the materials for the covering of the Kab'a, a right 
which had belonged to the sultans of Egypt since the decline of the khalifate 
of Baghdad, but Bursbey was successful in resisting this claim. He also 
defeated the Sherif of Mecca, and thus became the protector of the holy 
city, while the possession of Jedda, the seaport of Mecca (p. 423), afforded 
him great commercial advantages. This was owing to the fact that Jedda 
had recently become a favourite resort of the Indian spice-merchants who 
had previously traded with 'Aden, but had there been subjected to gross 
extortion hy the princes of Yemen. Bursbey availed himself so thoroughly 
of these advantages that he incurred the hostility of Venice, Catalonia, 
and Arragon ; but he succeeded in monopolising the trade in some of 
the most important articles, so that the interests of private dealers were 
seriously prejudiced. He died a natural death in 1438. 

Various data regarding the building of the mosque and the leg- 
acies bequeathed for its preservation were engraved on a long 
marble frieze on the okella which adjoins the edifice on the right, 
and a considerable part of it is still to be seen in the place. The 
Liwan contains good mosaics. Some of the handsome perforated 
stucco windows are still preserved, but the bronze gratings have 
been removed, and the openings built up. Several severe conflicts 
between the French troops and the Mamelukes are said to have 
taken place around this mosque. 

The admirably executed gateway with its pendentives, and the 
wall enclosing the three monuments, were erected by Mohammed, 
an intendant of the Hosh, about the year 1142 of the Hegira. 

Adjoining the mosque is the Ma'bed er-Rifa'i, a mausoleum 
with a remarkably depressed dome, next to which is the Tomb of 
the Mother of Bursbey , a poorly executed work. The form of the 
openings in the latter is worthy of notice, as the arches with straight 
sides, placed below an acute angle, though not uncommon, seldom 
occur quite alone. The oldest arches of the kind are to be found 
in the 'Amr and Azhar mosques. 

286 Route 3. 

CAIRO. Tombs of the Khalifs. 

In the same street, a few paces farther to theS., we observe on 
the right the long Okella Kait Bey, with its carefully executed 
gateway and characteristic ornamentation. The facade is built of 
massive stone, and is tolerably regular, but the mushrebiyehs are 
of inferior workmanship and probably of later date. The gate is 
mounted with large iron nails. The ground-floor is vaulted , while 
the upper floor has an open ceiling. The edifice was completed in 
the year 877 of the Hegira. 

A little farther to the S., projecting in an angle, is a public 
fountain, now in ruins, also erected by Kait Bey. The shallow 
niches, the upper parts of which are shell-shaped, are in the form 
of fantastic arches. 

Beyond this sebil is an open space, on the right side of which 

is the *Tomb-Mosque of Kait Bey (p. 268), the finest edifice among 

the Tombs of the Khalifs, with a lofty dome and beautiful minarets. 

The Sahn el - Garni' was once closed by a mushrebiyeh 

lantern , which fell in 1872. The rest of the edifice has an open 

ceiling, as in the case of 
the mandaras(p. 185). The 
Dikkeh, in the form of a bal- 
cony, resembles that in the 
mosque of Kait Bey adja- 
cent to the mosque of Tuliin. 
The details are very elab- 
orately executed. Within 
the mausoleum are shown 
two stones , one of red, 
and the other of black 
granite , which are said 
to have been brought from 
Mecca by Kait Bey , and 
to bear impressions of the 
feet of the prophet. One of 
them is covered with a 
wooden canopy, and the 
other with a bronze dome. 
The mosque also contains 
a finely carved kursi for the 
Koran. The whole edifice 
is erected of solid and reg- 

„ „ . ular masonry. The Minaret 

i. Principal Entrance. 2. Sebil with Me- . .i,.-ki„ r .n.~ „i„ 

dreseh. 3. Lower part of the Minaret. 4. ls remarkable for the ele- 
Sahn el-Gami'. 5. Liwan with Kibla and ganceof its form. TheDome, 
Mambar. 6. Mausoleum. 7. Tomb of Kait richly adorned with bands 
Bey. 8. Dikkeh. „ , . . . . 

1 of sculpturing, is construct- 

ed of limestone. 
With a visit to this mosque the traveller may conclude his in- 

Mosque el-Azhar. CAIRO. 3. Route. 287 

spection of the great necropolis. Those who are not fatigued may 
now walk towards the Citadel (p. 262), examining the different 
hoshes, domes, and smaller monuments on the right and left, and 
may then visit the Tombs of the Mamelukes (p. 327) beyond the 
Citadel. The embankment of the new railway which runs between 
the Tombs of the Khalifs and the quarries of the Mokattam, affords 
a good survey of the scene. The traveller who quits the Tombs 
about sunset should not omit to ascend the Windmill Hill from the 
side next the town (comp. Plan, p. 282), for the sake of the view. 
A fine effect, especially by evening light, is produced by the domes 
and the peculiar colouring of the valley and the opposite heights 
of the Mokattam. This mound of rubbish should indeed be fre- 
quently visited (comp. p. 282). To the W. are the city, the plain 
of the Nile, and the Pyramids. The red building to the N.E. is the 
'Abbasiyeh (p. 332), to the left of which is a mosque (Gami' el- 
'Adil). In front of the latter is the N.E. group of the Tombs of the 
Khalifs (p. 282), a little to the right of which are the two minarets 
of Sultan Barkuk (p. 282). Beyond these rises the Gebel el-Ahmar 
(p. 337), adjoining which are the Mokattam hills, with the other 
Tombs of the Khalifs at their base. 

Mosques of El-Azhar and Hasanen. 

The G&mi' el-Azhar (PI. 38 ; C, 2) presents few features of ar- 
chitectural interest, and is so shut in by houses that very little of 
the exterior is visible. The plan of the principal part was originally 
the same as that of the 'Amr Mosque (p. 324), but the numerous 
additions made at various periods have somewhat modified its form, 
and since the conversion of the mosque into a university the aisles 
have been separated from the court by walls and railings. The first 
great alterations took place in the year 1004 of the Hegira, in the 
reign of Mohammed ibn Murad, the next were made by Shekh Is- 
ma'il Bey in 1131 of the Hegira, and the last by Sa'id Pasha about 
1848, all exhibiting the decline of Arabian architecture. 

The Minarets (PI. 12), some of which are brightly painted, 
were erected at different periods, one of them having been built 
by 'Abder Rahman Kikhya (p. 279). 

The mosque has six gates : the Bab el-Muzeyintn (PI. a), or 
Gate of the Barbers (see below), on the W. side, forming the prin- 
cipal entrance, and possessing an interesting portal ; the Bab Qo- 
hariyeh (PI. b), on the N. side ; the Bab esh-Shurba (PI. c), or Soup 
Gate, on the E.; the Bab es-Sa'tdtyeh, or Gate of the Upper Egyp- 
tians ; the Bab esh-Shawwam (PI. e), or Syrian Gate ; and the Bab 
el-Magharbeh (PL f), or Gate of the W. Africans, the three last 
being on the S. side. 

The mosque was converted into a University (now the most 
important in Mohammedan territory) by Khalif 'Aziz Billah (A.I). 
975-96), at the suggestion of his vizier Abu'l Farag Ya'kiib, in 

288 Route 3. CAIRO. University. 

the year 378 of the Hegira, and the establishment is attended by 
students from almost all the countries professing El-Islam. 

On the side of the court looking towards Mecca is a spacious col- 
onnade (see below), which forms the principal hall for prayer and tui- 
tion. On the other three sides are smaller colonnades, divided by wooden 
partitions or railings into a number of Riwdks, or separate chambers 
(literally, colonnades). Each of these is set apart for the use of the na- 
tives of a particular country, or of a particular province of Egypt. The 
most important of these riwaks are as follows : 
Riwdk et-Turk (the word Turk being applied to all Mo- 
hammedans from the N. provinces of the Turkish em- 
pire), attended by 64 students 

Riwdk el-Maghdrbeh (W. Africans) 88 

Riwdk esh-Shawwdm (Syrians) 94 » 

Riwdk el-Baghdddiyeh (natives of Baghdad) 1 

Riwdk el-Hintid (Indians) 7 

Riwdk el-Akrdd (Kurds) 12 

Riwdk ed-Dakarna, or Ddrftiriyeh (natives of Darfur) . . 56 

Riwdk es-Senndriyeh (natives of Sennar) 37 „ 

Riwdk el-Bardbra (Nubian Berbers) 36 ,. 

Riwdk el-Oabart (E. Africans from the Somali coast, from 

Zela, Berbera, and Tajurra) 98 

Riwdk el-Haramen (natives of the holy cities of Mecca and 

Medina) 8 „ 

Riwdk el-Yemen (natives of Yemen) 26 „ 

Riwdk esh-Shardkweh (natives of the Egyptian province of 

Sherkiyeh) '. 380 

Riwdk el-Fashniyeh (natives of Fashneh in Upper Egypt) . 703 
Riwak el-Faydmeh, or Faydyimeh (natives of the Fayum) . 181 

Riwdk el-Baharweh (natives of Lower Egypt) 454 

Riwdk es-Scitdiyeh (natives of Upper Egypt) 1462 „ 

The' university is attended by about 7700 students in all , who are 
taught by 231 shekhs or professors. 

The different sects are distributed as follows: 

Shafe'ites . . . 3723, with 106 shekhs. 
Malekites . . . 2855, with 75 shekhs. 
Hanefites . . . 1090, with 49 shekhs. 
Hambalites ... 23, with 1 shekh. 
The students (Mugdwirin) usually remain three, and sometimes 
from four to six years in the mosque. They pay no fees, but each riwak 
is supported by an annual subsidy from the endowments of the mosque, 
although these were much diminished by Mohammed 'Ali, who ap- 
propriated the revenues of most of the religious foundations in Egypt to 
government purposes. The shekhs, or professors, receive no salary, either 
from the mosque or from government, hut support themselves by teaching 
in private houses , by copying books , or by filling some religious office 
to which a salary is attached, and they occasionally receive donations 
from the wealthier students. When teaching, the shekh sits cross-legged 
on a straw-mat and reads from a book placed on a desk (rahleh) before 
him, explaining each sentence as he proceeds ; or he directs one of the 
more advanced students to read aloud, adding his own explanations from 
time to time. The students sit in a circle around the teacher , listening, 
or attentively taking notes. As soon as a student knows by heart the 
whole of the book which is being studied by the class, the shekh makes 
an entry in his copy of the work, called the Igdzeh, whereby authority 
to lecture on the book is conferred on the student himself. The president 
of the university, who is usually the most distinguished of the shgkhs, 
is called Shekh el-Azhav, and receives a salary of about 20 purses i e 
10,000 piastres. 

Mosque el-Azhar. CAIRO. 3. Route. 289 

Most of the students, particularly those whose native tongue is not 
Arabic, begin their university education by learning the Arabic grammar 
(Him en-nahn). The next branch of study is religious science ('Urn el- 
keldm), the introduction to which consists of a series of preparatory lec- 
tures on the attributes of God and the prophet (Him et-tauhid , i. e. the 
doctrine of the unity of God). The chief attributes of God are said 
to be the following twelve : existence , source of all being , eternity, in- 
dependence, unity, omnipotence, will (in accordance with which he rules 
the universe , man being powerless to save himself from sin or to be 
pious without the assistance and grace of God) , omniscience (or know- 
ledge of everything that happens between the lowest foundations of the 
earth and the loftiest heights of the firmament), life, vision (which enables 
him to see everything everywhere, without the aid of light, and without 
eyes) , hearing (without ears , in the same way as he knows without a 
brain, and overthrows without hands), and speech (in a language that has 
had no beginning, a language withoutjetters or sounds, which is inherent 
in his nature, and does not resemble human speech). 

After having completed his course of religious instruction, the student 
proceeds to study law ('Urn el-filch). 

'Jurisprudence 1 , says Ibn Khaldiin , one of the greatest of Arabian 
thinkers, 'is a knowledge of the precepts of God in relation to the actions 
of men , some of which it is our duty to perform , while others are for- 
bidden , or recommended, or permitted ; and this knowledge is derived 
from the book of God, i.e. the Koran, from the Sunna (i.e. tradition), 
and from the inferences drawn by the lawgiver (Mohammed) from suf- 
ficient materials afforded by the Koran'. The study of law is therefore 
based upon the exegesis of the Koran (ia/sir) and of tradition (hadith). 

The science of law is divide'd into two branches : — 

(1) The doctrine of the Chief Religious Commandments of El-Islam, 
viz. (a) Et-Tauhid, or the recognition of God's unity and of Mohammed 
as his prophet; (b) The Saldt and Tahdra, or the duty of repeating the 
canonical prayers in connection with the ablutions ; (c) The Sadaka and 
Zakdt, or giving of alms and payment of a religious tax; (d) The Sir/dm, 
or fasting during the month of Ramadan ; (e) The Hagg, or duty of per- 
forming a pilgrimage to Mecca. 

(2) The doctrine of Secular Law, civil and criminal, either as expressly 
laid down by the Koran, or as deducible from it. The legal literature 
again i3 divided into two classes, one embracing systematic expositions 
of the law of the Koran, and the other consisting of the decisions (fetwa) 
and opinions of celebrated jurists in special and difficult cases. 

Besides these leading branches of instruction , logic (Him el-mantik) 
rhetoric (Him el-ma r dni wal baydn) , the art of poetry (Him el- r artid) , the 
proper mode of reciting the Koran (Him el-kird'a) , and the correct pro- 
nunciation of the letters (Him et-tejwid) are also taught. 

The above list of the subjects taught at the most important of Moham- 
medan schools will serve to convey an idea of the intellectual condition 
of Orientals at the present day. The most conspicuous defect of their 
culture consists in the entire absence of independent thought , in conse- 
quence of which they are the mere recipients of the knowledge of the 
past. Their minds are thus exclusively occupied with the lowest grade 
of intellectual work, their principal task consisting in the systematic 
arrangement or encyclopaedic compilation of the knowledge handed down 
to them. Some of the shekhs of the Azhar are men of marvellous erudi- 
tion, but they are destitute of creative power, or of the ability to utilise 
their old materials for the construction of any new edifice, and they ad- 
here faithfully to the notion of their forefathers that the greatest 
triumph of mental labour is to learn by heart any work of acknowledged 
literary value. Doubt and criticism, which so often serve to open up fresh 
sources of knowledge , are unknown to them ; with natural history they 
are entirely unacquainted ; and even geometry, algebra, and astronomy, so 
assiduously cultivated by the ancient Arabs , have now fallen into ob- 
livion. So well satisfied are they, moreover, with their own wisdom, 
that they utterly despise the scientific pursuits of the Western world. 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 19 

290 Route 3. 


Mosque el-Azhar. 

We enter the mosque by the Gate of the Barbers (PI. a), from the 
Street of the Booksellers (p. 254). On eaoh side of the Entrance 

*° fc^^mm^w^^w^-' 

a, b, e, d, e, f. Gates (see p. 287). 1. Entrance Court (barbers'). 2.H6sh 
el-Gami r , or Great Court. 3. Cisterns. 4. Liwan el-Gami r , or Sanctuary, 
now the principal hall for instruction. 5. Kibla. 6. Mambar. 7. Dikkeh. 
8. Tomb of 'Abder-Rabman Kikhya. 9. 'Mesgid (mosque) Gohariyeh. 
10. Mesgid Tabarset. 11. Mesgid Ebthahawiyeh (in ruins). 12. Minarets. 
13. Fountain. 14. Latrine. 15-34. Riwaks (or rooms for study). 15. Ri- 
wak et-Turk (Turks from N. provinces' of the empire); 16. Riwak el- 
Magharbeh (W. Africans); 17. Staircase to the Riwak esh-Shawwam '(Sy- 
rians) ; 18. Staircase to the Riwak el-Baghdadiyeh (natives of Baghdad) ; 
19. Riwakel-Akrad (Kurds); 2". 'Riwak ed-Dakarna or Darfiiriyeh (na- 
tives of Darfur) ; 21-27. Riwak es-Sennariyeh (natives of Sennar), Riwak 
el-Barabra (Nubian Berbers), Riwak el-Gabart (E. Africans from the So- 
mali coast, Zela', Berbera, and Tajnrra); 28. Riwak el-Haramen (natives 
of Mecca and Medina); 29. Riwak el-Yemen (native's of' Yemen): 30. Ri- 
wak esh-Sharakweh (natives of the province of Sherkiveh) ; 31. Riwak 
el-Fashmyeh (natives of Fashneh) ; 32. Riwak el-Fayunieh or Fayayimeh 
(natives of the Fayum) ; 33. Riwak el-Bakarweh (natives of Lower Egypt) ; 
34. Riwak es-Sa'idiyeh (natives of Sa'id, or Upper Egypt). 35. Receptacle 
for carpets, dfa. Steps to the Terrace. 37. Gate of the Okella Kait Bey 
38. Public Fountain. 39. Road to the Tombs of the Khalifs. 40 Book- 
sellers' 1 Street (p. 254). 41. Street to the Rue Neuve (Muski) 

Mosque el-Azhar. CAIRO. 3. Route. 291 

(PI. 1), which was restored by Edhem Pasha at the beginning of 
the present century, we frequently observe barbers engaged in 
shaving the heads of the students with admirable skill, but we of 
course avoid stopping to watch the process for fear of giving offence. 
This being one of the fountain-heads of Mohammedan fanaticism, 
the traveller should, of course, throughout his visit, be careful not 
to indulge openly in any gestures of amusement or contempt. 
Beyond the entrance , which forms a kind of foTe-court , we reach 
the H6sh el-Gami' (PI. 2), or Great Court, where the students are 
seen sitting on their mats in groups and conning their tasks. This 
court does not contain the usual fountain for ablution , but there 
are three small Cisterns (PI. 3) for the purpose. The arcades 
enclosing the court have arches approaching the keel shape , but 
the sides are straighter than usual. The openings and niches over 
the arcades are less systematically arranged than in the case of the 
Tuliin Mosque (p. 265), from which they seem to have been copied. 

On the E. side , in the direction of Mecca, is the Liwan el- 
Gami' (PI. 4), or Sanctuary, now the principal hall of instruction, 
covering an area of about 3600 sq. yds., with a low ceiling resting 
on 380 columns of granite and marble , all of ancient origin, and 
arbitrarily arranged. The hall is entirely destitute of architectural 
enrichment , and presents a heavy and sombre appearance. Here 
again , as in the court , we observe various groups of students 
in the usual crouching attitude, and others devoutly praying in 
front of the kiblas (PI. 5), of which there is one for each of the 
four recognised sects of the Shafe'ites, the Malekites, the Hanefites, 
and the Hambalites (comp. p. 149). The domes over these kiblas 
and their walls are adorned not unpleasingly in stucco. On the S. 
side is the Tomb of 'Abd er-Rahman Kikhya (PI. 8), by whom the 
S.E. part of the mosque was restored (d. about 1750). To the W. 
(right) of this tomb is the Riwak (see above) of the students 
from Upper Egypt (PI. 34), and to the left of the latter, on the E. 
side, is that of the natives of Mecca and Medina (PI. 28). The N. 
side is bounded by the Mesgid Goharlyeh (PI. 9), a smaller mosque, 
and the oldest part of the whole structure. 

After having inspected the great hall , the visitor is conducted 
into a number of smaller apartments (riwaks) , some of which are 
indicated in the plan of the edifice, but they contain nothing 
noteworthy. There is also a separate riwak, called the Zdwiyet el- 
'Omyan, for blind students, for whose maintenance a portion of the 
funds is set apart. These blind youths , who have a shekh of their 
own , were frequently guilty of riotous conduct in former years, 
and used to parade the streets armed with bludgeons , whenever 
they conceived their rights infringed, the disputes being generally 
concerning the quality of their food. To this day they are said to 
be the most fanatical of their sect, and to entertain the most bitter 
hatred and contempt for the kafir, or unbelieving Christian. 


292 Route 3. CAIRO. Odmi' el-Hasanen. 

On the right and left of the W. Entrance (PI. a) are two old 
mosques. The Medreseh of Emir Taibar (PI. 10), on the S. side, 
built in 1309, contains a kibla richly adorned with mosaic. The 
mosque on the N. side (PI. 11) is now in ruins, as indeed are sev- 
eral other parts of the mosque of El-Azhar ('the flourishing'). 

Returning to the Rue Neuve , we observe to the N. , opposite 
us, the handsome minaret of the — 

*Grami' el-Hasanen (PI. 46 ; C, 2), the mosque of Hasan and 
Husen, the sons of'Ali, the son-in-law of the prophet (p. 153; 
the termination en indicating the dual), which has recently been 
restored. The interior is constructed with considerable symmetry 
and care. The wooden ceiling, from which hang a number of lamps, 
is painted. A marble column is said to contain the head of Husen, 
who was slain at Kerbela by Shemir Ibn el-Gaushan by order of 
Yezid. The head is said to have been brought to Cairo in a green 
silk bag. This tomb-mosque is chiefly frequented by men on 
Thursdays, and by women on Saturdays. + 

+ The visitors to the tombs, burial-mosques, and welis, which are to 
be found near almost every village , generally have a twofold object in 
view, one being to do honour to the memory of the deceased and to 
invoke the blessing of heaven upon them, and the other to obtain through 
their mediation the fulfilment of some special wish. On arriving at the 
tomb , the visitor must turn towards the face of the deceased and 
pronounce the greeting of peace. He then walks round the makstira, or 
monument, from left to right, repeating the fatha at the door, or at each 
of the four sides, in a very low voice. A sureh of the Koran is sometimes 
also repeated, and even the khatmeh, or recitation of the whole volume, 
is not unfrequently performed. In conclusion the praises of God and 
the prophet are usually recited, coupled with a prayer that the merit 
of the whole performance may be placed to the credit of the weli's 
soul. Before the concluding prayer, the worshipper sometimes introduces 
a prayer for his own temporal and spiritual welfare. When wealthy 
persons visit the tomb of a saint , they distribute bread among the poor, 
and pay one sakka or more to dispense water gratuitously. Some of the 
tombs are chiefly visited on certain days of the week ; and there are 
certain days of the year f especially about the middle of the month of 
Sha'ban) on which festivals are celebrated in honour of the patron saints 
of the different towns and villages. The most important of these are 
that of Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi at Tanta in Lower Egypt, and that of 
f Abd er-Eahim at Keneh in Upper Egypt. A week or a fortnight before 
the day of the festival, booths for the sale of coffee and sweatmeats begin 
to spring up around the shrine, and crowds of devotees flock to the tomb 
from all directions , some of them to perform the zikr , and others to 
take part in various fantasiyas. Dancing women , singers , musicians, 
jugglers, snake-charmers, buffoons, as well as swings and merry-go-rounds, 
present their various attractions to young and old. On the feast-day 
itselt, when the crowd is greatest, a solemn procession takes place. The 
mahmal, a kind of wooden frame which usually lies on the roof of the 
tomb , is covered with the gold and silver-embroidered winding-sheet of 
the saint and placed on the back of a camel , gorgeously decorated with 
ribbons, carpets, and bells The procession is headed by outriders galop- 
ping to and fro on camels, by fife-players and drummers, and by the arm- 
bearing population of the village, whose chief delight consists in firing 
nil their guns. Immediately before the camel with the mahmal walk a 
number of venerable old men reciting passages from the Koran, and on 
each side of it are flag-bearers. Behind it come a band of music female 

Buldk. CAIRO. 3. Route. 293 

The battle of Kerbela, at which Husen fell, took place on 10th 
Moharrem of the year 61 of the Hegira (iOth Oct. 680). Historians record 
thai Husen's head was sent to Damascus, while his body was interred in 
the Meshhed Husen on the N.E. frontier of Persia, to which Persian 
pilgrims still resort in great numbers. 

Neither Hasan nor Husen was remarkable for moral worth or poli- 
tical greatness. The veneration paid to these young 'saints' seems to 
have sprung solely from the persecutions to which the whole family of 
'Ali was subjected, coupled with the fact that they were the grandsons 
of the prophet. Their misfortunes doubtless at first excited pity, a feel- 
ing which led to their being honoured with a kind of deification , parti- 
cularly in Persia, where divine honours had at a still earlier period been 
paid to the sovereigns of the country as being descended from the gods. It 
is still the custom in Persia, during the month of Moharrem, to represent 
the events which led to Husen's death in nine successive theatrical 
performances, somewhat resembling the Passion plays of Europe. 

Opposite the egress of the mosque is the entrance to the Khan 
Khalili (p. 255). At the E. end of the Rue Neuve is the Windmill 
Hill mentioned at pp. 282 and 287, adjoining which is the road to 
the Tombs of the Khalifs (pp. 282-287). 

B&lak and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. 
Owing to the expansion of Cairo towards the W. , in the direction 
of the Nile , Bulak (or Soulaq) , situated beyond the Isma'iliyeh 
Canal, and formerly an island, has become the river-harbour of the 
city of the khalifs. Its narrow streets present a very busy scene, 
affording a more characteristic picture of Oriental life than the 
capita] , as the inhabitants of distant provinces are proportionally 
more numerous here. Natives of Dar-Fur , Wadai , Donkola , Kor- 
dofan , and Khartum , and members of the various negro tribes are 
seen mingling in picturesque confusion ; and popular festivals and 
amusements are very frequently provided for their entertainment 
in the evening. Goods are conveyed hither from Upper Egypt, 
from Nubia, from the interior of Africa, and from the fertile Delta ; 
and the Nile barges are then laden with other cargoes for the return- 
journey. The principal quay is nearly opposite the palace of Gezireh, 
adjacent to a large timber-yard ; and it is most frequented between 
October and December, when the rapids of the river are most easily 
navigated. The merchants of Cairo congregate here every morning 
to make purchases, frequently as early as 7 o'clock. When there is 
a scarcity of goods , they sometimes go out to the vessels in boats ; 
but when there is no scarcity , the goods are sold by auction in 
Bulak. Caravans bringing merchandise also arrive here not unfre- 
quently, the most important being from Tunis via Kufra and Siwa, 
and from Wadai and Dar-Fur. On one part of the route from Dar- 
Fur, it is said that the caravans obtain no fresh water for twelve days. 

dancers, men on camels thumping on huge drums, and lastly a promiscuous 
crowd of holiday makers. The procession often marches about the town 
for an hour or more , and thence out into the desert. Towards evening 
the mahmal is brought back to its usual place, and the festival then 

294 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

The chief wares brought to Bulak are gum, ostrich-feathers, ivory, 
and senna-leaves. The best quality of gum , called 'samgh kordofani', 
comes from Kordofan , while the inferior 'talb.' is from Sennar. The 
ostrich-feathers come from Kordofan , where the birds are reared , and 
also from Wadai and Dar-Fur. The feathers are carefully tied up in 
bundles , and well peppered to protect them against moths. They are 
sold by weight, a rotl (pound) of good and pure white feathers realising 
as much as 30!. A single white feather of good quality is worth 10-20 frs. 
The black and grey feathers are much less expensive. After reaching 
Europe they require to be washed before being used. Of late years it 
has become usual to pick out the finest feathers, and to offer them for 
sale to travellers at high prices, even as far up as Assuan. 

At Bulak, and at the moorings of Embab eh, farther to the N. , 
the traveller will find the dahabiyehs , or boats fitted up for the 
voyage to Upper Egypt. At the N. end of the town is situated 
the Arsenal, founded in 1835, with a manufactory of weapons at- 
tached to it. Machinery for Egyptian manufactories arriving from 
Europe is put together at Bulak before being sent to its final 
destination , and all repairs of machinery are also executed here. 
Bulak also boasts of a large Iron Foundry , an Ecole des Arts et 
Metiers , a Paper Manufactory , a House of Correction for Women, 
a Lunatic Asylum, and the Government Printing Office, none of 
which establishments will interest ordinary travellers. 

The Viceregal Printing Of&ce',( e l-matba'a ; director, 'Ali-Bey Gaudat) was 
founded by Mohammed 'Ali , chiefly for the purpose of printing and dis- 
seminating translations of European scientific works of all kinds, and par- 
ticularly school-books. The introduction of printing had at first to contend 
against serious prejudices, as many of the Muslims feared that the name 
of God would be defiled by contact with impure substances used in the pro- 
cess. To this day, indeed, the Koran is preferred in a written form ; but, 
thanks to the perseverance of the government, the prejudice against other 
printed books has now almost entirely disappeared, and there are few of 
the many modern institutions recently introduced into Egypt which have 
thriven so well as this printing-office. Within the last fifty years there 
have been printed here , according to the government statistics , 418,375 
copies of 226 works (393 vols.) of various kinds, without reckoning works 
printed at the cost of private individuals. 

The number of private printing-offices is also increasing from year to 
year , the most important being that of Mustafa Wahabi , where works 
published by a scientific society (gem'iyet el-ma r arif) are printed. Litho- 
graphy is also beginning to come into use , but the execution is often 

Of the works printed in Egypt 1000-4000 copies are usually struck off, 
and the fact that the whole of them are generally sold within a few years 
affords a proof that the taste for literature in the East is again on the 
increase. Some works , such as Bokhari's collection of traditions , have 
an immense sale. Energetic attempts are still being made to render 
European works accessible to Orientals in the form of translations, chiefly 
from the French. Thus , among the legal works , may be mentioned a 
translation of the Code Napoleon , among the geographical the works of 
Malte Brun , and among the historical the Life of Charles XII. by Vol- 
taire ; and a few years ago the libretto of Offenbach's Belle Helene was 
even thought worthy of being printed in Arabic at the government print- 
ing-office of Bulak. — At the same time the national literature has not 
been neglected, and a number of valuable early Arabian works have 
recently been brought into notice by the agency of the printing-press, 
such as the historical works of Ibn el-Athir (comp. p. 201) , those of Ma- 
Icrizi (p. 201), those of El-Makkari, the writer of Spanish history (17th 
cent.), and the 'Book of the Songs' by Abulfarag el-Isbah&ni (d. 966). 



□ □ 

CD a 



Tnmlx'au de 



ofBWak. CAIRO. 3. Route. 295 

A peculiarity of many of the books recently printed at Bulak is that 
smaller works illustrative of the text are printed on the margins of the 
pages. The paper used for the purpose is made in Egyptian manu- 
factories, chiefly from maize-straw, which accounts for its yellowish tint. 

The great attraction at Bulak is the — 

**Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (the traveller bound for 
which has only to direct his donkey-boy 'HI Antikat'), a magni- 
ficent collection , and entirely unrivalled of its kind. A great ad- 
vantage possessed by it over all the European museums is that the 
places where all its monuments and Telics have been found are 
known, and indicated by labels, a circumstance of the greatest im- 
portance in assisting historical and geographical research. The col- 
lection was founded by M. Mariette-Pasha , who died in 1881 and 
has been succeeded as director by Prof. Maspero, another French- 
man. The keeper of the museum is Herr Brugsch-Bey, who is as- 
sisted by M. Bouriant. 

The arrangement of the museum has recently been entirely 
altered, and most of the treasures formerly stored in the magazines 
have now found a place in the building itself. Several of the rooms 
have been enlarged and an addition has been built to receive the 
objects found at Der el-Balm, near Thebes, in 1881. Prof. Maspero 
has also caused a room to be fitted up for monuments of the Greek, 
Roman, and Coptic periods. 

The Museum is open daily, except on Fridays, from 8 to 12 and 
from 2 to 5 ; in winter from 8 to 12 and 1 to 4 o'clock (no feej. 
Strangers , who wish to make special studies , will receive every 
facility from the director and keepers. 

Court. To the right of the gateway is a colossal figure of King 
UseTtesen I. (PI. A), in rose-coloured granite, brought from Abydos 
in 1884. Farther on, placed against the external wall of the Mu- 
seum, are four dark-grey granite figures, in a sitting posture, of 
the lion-headed goddess Sekhet (No. 6006) , all brought from the 
temple of the goddess Muth at Karnak. To the right, between the 
windows, 6007. Double statue representing the god Ammon and 
an Ethiopian queen. 

This group, which is of rough workmanship , was found in 1882 at 
Naga (Meroe) by Herr Berghoff, who some months later was captured and 
beheaded by the Mahdi. 

On the left side of the court are two large fragments of a granite 
Naos, or shrine , with elaborate decorations and the name of King 
Nectanebus II. In the corner to the left, 6002. Large eagle in 
marble, from the island of Thasos. To the left of the entrance to 
the garden is a large Sphinx (No. 6008) in rose-coloured granite, 
from Tanis in Lower Egypt ; the cartouches of Ramses II. are a 
later addition. To the right is a cast of the same figure (PI. B). 

We now enter the Garden. To the right : 6013, 6014. Sarco- 
phagi in grey granite from Sakkara, belonging to two brothers named 
Takhos , who were high officials in the time of the first Ptolemies. 

296 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

Adjacent, 6015. Granite sarcophagus of Ankh-hapi, also from 
Sakkara (Greek period). Opposite are three marble sarcophagi of 
the Graeco-Roman epoch, from Alexandria. 

Opposite the entrance of the Museum , in the middle of the 
garden, is the Tomb of Mariette, who is interred in a marble sar- 
cophagus made in the ancient style. The four small limestone 
sphinxes in front of it are from the sacred avenue leading to the 
Serapeum at Sakkara (p. 384). — Nearer the river, 6030, 6032. Two 
sphinxes in rose-coloured granite fromKarnak, with inscriptions 
and the name of Thothmes III. Between these: 6031. Colossal 
figure of Ramses II. (from Tanis), and 6033. Sacrificial tablet of 
Thothmes III. (from Kamak). To the right (E.) : 6025. 'Stele' or 
sepulchral tablet , in limestone , with an inscription referring to 
Ptah-hotep (5th dynasty ; from Sakkara). To the N. , by the wall of 
the Museum, are several sepulchral slabs and the sitting figure (in 
grey granite ; No. 6028) of the Princess Nefert, daughter of User- 
tesen I. (12th dynasty). In front, 6029. Sarcophagus in brownish 
granite, found at Damanhur, with an inscription containing the 
name of Psammetikh II. (26th dynasty). 

The building of the Museum is painted blue, green, and red in 
the manner of the Egyptian temples , and above the door is the 
winged disk of the sun (see p. 133). To the right and left of the 
door are two seated granite figures from Tanis (6020, 6021) , both 
'usurped' by Ramses II., i.e. provided with his cartouches , but 
really of earlier origin (13th or 14th dynasty?). 

Petit Vestibule. Maspero's new Catalogue, several of Mariette's 
works, and photographs of objects in the Museum are sold here. 
The best collections of the latter are the Monuments Choisis du 
Musee de Boulaq (25 fr. , small size 15 fr.) and La Trouvaille de 
Deir el Bahari (1st vol. 40 fr., 2nd vol. 15 fr.). Sticks and um- 
brellas must be given up here. 

The walls are covered with tombstones and basreliefs , most of 
them from Abydos and Sakkara. Among the most interesting are : 
No. 21. Stele ot'Hormin (20th dynasty), with a burial scene; 3. Stele 
of Unnefer, who died at the age of 51 years, 1 month, and 27 days 
(from Luksor) ; 19. Tombstone of Pa-nefer-haf, who died aged 57 
years, 10 months, and 4 days. — To the left, 82. Base of a column 
in alabaster, with the cartouche of Ramses III. , found at Tell el- 
Yehudiyeh (Shibin el-Kanatir). In front is the capital of a por- 
phyry column , with an inscription of a later date. Sarcophagi in 
basalt and close-grained limestone, dating from the time of the 

Grand Vestibule. The walls are completely covered with 'steles' 
or sepulchral slabs, chiefly from Abydos. No. 165. Monument of 
Phra-em-heb. In the uppermost row are two figures standing before 
Osiris ; in the second row, the mummy of Phra-em-heb is represent- 
ed in an upright position before the tomb, while his sister embraces 

ofBul&k. CAIRO. 3. Route. 297 

his knees ; in the third field is a sacrificial scene (20th dynasty ; 
from Sakkara). — 166. The gods UsuThapi, Ammon-Ra, Muth, and 
Khunsu receiving the sacrifice of a king, whose cartouche has been 
left empty (from Sakkara). — 167. Tombstone of Entef, with well- 
preserved colouring (11th dynasty; from Thebes). — 292. The 
scribe Anawa, major-domo of Memphis , in the act of worshipping 
Turn and Harmachis (19th dyn.; from Sakkara). The inscription 
is a hymn to the sun. — 330. Stele of Piankhi, son of Herhor, 
high-priest of Amnion and viceroy of Ethiopia (21st dyn.; Abydos). 

— 378. Tombstone. In the uppermost field are represented Phra- 
unem-emamf, the chief scribe of Amnion, and his wife Niuha'i, 
priestess of Ammon, kneeling before the jackal Anubis ; in the sec- 
ond row the deceased are seen arriving before Osiris and Isis ; the 
third field represents a sacrifice for the dead (20th dyn.; Sakkara). 

— 420. Roma, keeper of the royal diadems and of the perfumes of 
the royal treasury, with his wife Sukha, his daughter Tapu, and his 
grandson Nihiaii, all in adoration before Osiris, Isis, and Horus. In 
the second field Roma and Sukha receive sacrificial gifts from their 
son Apii and other members of the family ; the third contains a 
hymn to Osiris (19th dyn. ; Abydos). — Nos. 199, 229, 255, and 
327 are the best examples of steles of the 6th dynasty. 

To the left, in the middle: 446. Statue of Sebek-em-saf , a 
king of the 13th dynasty, in rose-coloured granite (from Abydos). 
No. 445, used as a base for the last, is the shaft of a column in red 
granite , inscribed with the 5th year of the reign of Merenptah 
(19th dyn.). Adjacent, to the left: 442. Ta'i and his wife Nai, 
sitting figures in limestone ; at the back the same figures are re- 
presented in the act of receiving sacrificial gifts from Tinro, priestess 
of Ammon (19th dyn.; Sakkara). — In the middle of the room, to 
the right : *468. Alabaster Statue of Queen Ameneritis, on a base 
of grey granite. The cartouches are those of her father Kashta and 
her brother Shabako (25th dyn.; Karnak). — *465. Lion, admirably 
pourtrayed in bronze, with the cartouches of King Apries of the 
26th dynasty, probably designed to adorn a staircase. — 469. Group 
of Ammon and Muth, dedicated by Seti I (19th dyn.; Thebes). 

At the sides of the door leading to the Salle du Centre are two 
large limestone steles, inscribed with the name of Ramses IV. and 
with hymns to various deities. In front, 285, 286. Two limestone 
figures, in a crouching posture, of Khai, keeper of the treasures in 
the mortuary chapel of Ramses II. No. 285 holds a small shrine 
with an image of Osiris, and No. 286 another with an image of Ra. 

— By the four pilasters are finely-executed sarcophagi in basalt 
and limestone. 409. Limestone coffin of a woman named Ankh ; 
160. Coffin in green basalt of a woman named Betaita , both of the 
Ptolemaic period. Opposite, 284, 287. Coffin and lid of Hor-em- 
heb, dating from the Saite period (p. 91) , and covered inside and 
out with funereal representations and inscriptions. 

298 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

We now turn to the left and enter the — 

Salle historique de l'Ouest. This room contains historical steles 
of various epochs and also the monuments of the period of the 
Hyksos (p. 88), which is represented in Europe by a solitary head 
in the Villa Ludovisi at Rome. — In the centre of the room : **107. 
Hyksos Sphinx in black granite, from Tanis, the restored parts re- 
cognisable by their darker hue. 

The head shows the coarse and foreign-looking features of the race 
which oppressed Egypt for so long a period. An inscription on the right 
shoulder, almost effaced, mentions Apepi (Apophis), one of the last Hyksos 
kings. Merenptah, the Pharaoh of the Exodus, and Ramses II. sub- 
sequently caused their names to be inscribed on the base, and Psusennes, 
of the 21st dynasty, engraved his on the breast of the statue. 

106. Head of a sphinx, resembling No. 107, with the name of 
Merenptah, added at a later date. — 108. Sacrificial tablet of black 
granite, with the name of the Hyksos king Apepi. — 100. Torso 
of a Hyksos statue in grey granite, found at Mit Fares in the Fayum, 
and thus proving that the Hyksos dominion extended at least as 
far as this district. 

123. Double statue of grey granite , found at Tanis and dating 
from the Hyksos period. 

Two foreign-looking figures are standing before the sacrificial tables, 
which are lavishly adorned with aquatic plants (Baskhuiu), fishes, and 
birds. The features of the figures resemble those of the sphinxes; their 
matted beards , their plaited hair, and the bracelets on their arms dis- 
tinguish them strongly from the figures on other Egyptian monuments. 
The name of Psusennes , engraved both on the front and on the back of 
the monument, was added at a later date. 

**89. Stele of the Diadoch , in black granite , found in 1870 
among the ruinous foundations of the mosque of Shekhun in Cairo. 

In the arch above the proper inscription is a representation of Pto- 
lemy I. Lagi (p. 96), before his accession to the throne. He is still styled 
a 'satrap' here, but the empty cartouches adjoining his figure seem to 
indicate that he is free to ascend the throne. On the left he is consecrat- 
ing to Horus, the avenger of his father, a piece of planted land ( j\ j\ j) ) ' 

and on the right he is presenting gifts to Isis-Buto, the tutelary goddess 
of the cities of Peh and Tep. The inscription extols the satrap Ptolemy 
as a hero, who brought back from Asia to the Nile the treasures removed 
from the temples of Egypt, and who fixed his residence in the 'Fortress 
of Alexander I., which was formerly called Rhakolis' 1 {i.e. Alexandria). 
His victories over Syria and the western regions of Egypt, and his be- 
neficence to the gods of Egypt are also praised, and there follows a eulo- 
gium of his liberality in renewing a grant to the goddesses (i.e. to the 
priests) of the cities of Peh and Tep, the so-called quarters of Buto, 
whose worship had been abolished by the 'Arch-enemy Xerxes'. 

**127. Celebrated monument of the time of III, in 
black granite (19th dyn.; Karnak). 

The upper part of the inscription was erased by Khu-en-aten, who 
overthrew the worship of Ammon in Thebes , or by some other early 
monarch, but was afterwards restored, perhaps by Bamses II. The traces 
of this double change are distinctly visible on the upper half of the stele. 
Below is an inscription in 25 lines celebrating the victories of Thothmes III. 
in a highly poetic manner. This monument was often copied by sub- 
sequent dynasties to celebrate the exploits of Seti I. and Ramses III. 

ofBulak. CAIRO. 3. Route. 299 

101. Portrait-head in dark granite of Taharka (the Tirhakah of 
the Bible), the Ethiopian conqueror (25th dyn.); negro cast of fea- 
tures, nose mutilated. 

The following steles are also of historical interest : 98. Stele of 
Piankhi, in grey granite , covered with inscriptions (23rd dyn. ; 

In the 6th cent, before Christ the power of the Ethiopian monarchs 
extended to Thebes , while several native princes still maintained them- 
selves in N. Egypt. One of these named Tefnekht (p. 91) organises a rising 
against the usurper Piankhi, but is finally conquered and forced to yield 
to the Ethiopian, who, after pacifying the country, returns to his capital 

99. Stele of Hor-sa-tef , in grey granite , from the end of the 
Persian period (Gebel-Barkal). 

The king gives an account of the wars carried on by him against the 
tribes dwelling between Abyssinia, Darfflr, and the Red Sea, particularly 
of the expedition to the Gebel-Barkal in the 6th year of his reign. 

1 14. The so-called Coronation Stele, on which the name of the 
king has been effaced. — 122. Stele of Amen-meri-nut, recount- 
ing a campaign undertaken by him at the instigation of a dream. 
— 112. Tablet known as the Stele of Excommunication. These 
three steles were all found at Gebel-Barkal. 

In the corner of the room : 97. Door-post of grey basalt, with 
the name and titles of Tau , brother of Queen Ra-meri-ankh-ens, 
wife of Pepi I. (6th dyn.; Abydos). — 127. Limestone stele, with 
inscriptions on each face and the cartouches of Usertesen III. and 
Amenemha III. (12th dyn.; Abydos). 

The rose-coloured granite door, leading from the Grand Vesti- 
bule to the Salle du Centre, was found at Abydos, amid the ruins 
of an ancient temple of Osiris. The central portion bears the car- 
touche of Seti I., while at the sides are full-length figures of the 
same monarch. 

Salle du Centre. Along the walls are arranged twelve cabinets, 
containing statuettes of the Egyptian deities in bronze, stone, and 
porcelain, and objects conneoted with the burial ceremonies of the 
Egyptians. To the left, Case B : Osiris and Apis. 2490. Apis- 
bull with the sacred triangle on its forehead; 2497-2502. Apis 
steles, in limestone, from the Serapeum at Sakkara ; 2494. Serapis 
(human body with the head of a bull) ; 2434. Relief of the trans- 
portation of a dead Apis, with figures of Isis and Nephthys to the 
right and left of the reliquary. 

Cose C. 2416. Statuette of Osiris in limestone, with fragments 
of the kneeling figures of a brother and sister, each presenting a 
sacrificial tablet ; 2415. Hawk with the crown of Upper and Lower 
Egypt ; 2386. Upper part of a sceptre, consisting of a lotus blossom 
and a hawk ; 2381. Upright mummy of Osiris in basalt ; 2383. Stele 
with relief of an Osiris mummy ; on the arch at the top is the sun 
(a red disk with a scarabaeus) , while to the right and left are two 
dog-faced bal""-ns in an attitude of adoration. 2359. Harpocrates 

300 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

emerging from the calyx of a lotus; 2325. Statue of the child 
Horus, with its finger at its lips, formerly gilded; 2391, 2364. Two 
bronze chairs, with feet and arms in the form of lions, while the 
back of the second consists of a hawk with outspread wings. 

Cabinet D. 2209. Bronze naos, with a cat; 2276. Wooden obe- 
lisk with a mummy of Osiris; 2299. Jackal; 2315. Statuette of 
Anubis with the jackal's head, and the linen case in which it was 
found ; 2260. Beak and neck of an ibis ; 2129. Statuette of a priest, 
holdiiig a shrine of Osiris ; 2134, 2223. Ibises in bronze. 

Cabinet E. Figures of Isis. 2167. Isis with wings attached to 
her arms; 2170. Isis and Horus, in stone, gilded; 2141, 2142. 
Same subject, in bronze; 2154. Osiris mummy on a pedestal adorn- 
ed with basreliefs of gods (in bronze) ; 2185. Tombstone repre- 
senting Isis sheltering the god Harmachis with her wings and re- 
ceiving sacrificial offerings. 

Cabinet F. Statuettes of the goddesses Isis , Nephthys, and 
Thueris. 2028. Sitting figure of Nephthys in yellowish marble ; 
2038. Sitting figure of Isis, with her hands resting on her knees, 
the face and neck gilded ; 2105. Bronze aegis with a head of Ha- 
thor, furnished with cow-horns ; 2033. Same subject; 2063. Por- 
celain statuette of Thueris; 2061. Tombstone, with the singer 
Anarimes offering sacrifices to a hawk. 

Cabinet Q. 2009, 2013. Bronze figures of the Theban Aminon, 
with the double feather on his head ; 1967. Bronze segis with the 
head of a lion, bearing a solar disk and a uraeus serpent ; 1957. 
Bronze figure of Imhotep (the ^Esculapius of the Greeks), with a 
papyrus roll on his knees ; 1925. Ptah as a mummy, in bronze. — 
1933." Figure of the 'Primaeval Ptah' (seep. 126) in green porce- 
lain ; the deity is represented in the shape of a distorted child, 
standing upon two crocodiles and strangling two snakes. Behind 
is Ma, the goddess of justice, with outspread wings. — 1883, 1863. 
Bronze figures of the goddess Sekhet, with the lion's head, one 
sitting and the other standing; 1857. Bronze cat; 1882. Bronze 
figure of Sekhet, with the solar disk and a uraeus serpent on her head. 

Cabinet I. *1813, *1750. Bronze statuettes of the god Nefer- 
Tum, one inlaid with gold and enamel ; 1831. Sceptre ending in 
a lotus, surmounted by a bronze statuette of Serapis ; 1829. Bronze 
statuette of the goddess Neith ; 1826. Bronze group of Horus and 
Thoth pouring water over a figure kneeling between them ; 1775. 
Horus with the head of a hawk, leaning against an obelisk ; 1770. 
Uraeus serpent with a human head, wearing the crowns of Upper 
and Lower Egypt; 1764. Sceptre with a lotus and head of a hawk. 
1734. Pectoral plate in the form of a shrine ; in the middle is a 
shield bearing the head of Hathor supported by two uraeus snakes ; 
at the sides are Ptah and Sekhet. — 1710. The god Shu, in por- 

Cabinet J. chiefly contains statuettes of Osiris. 1558. Wooden 

of Bulak. CAIRO. 3. Route. 301 

Stele, with wonderfully preserved gilding and colouring ; the scene 
represents a priest of Mentu in adoration before Harmachis and 
Turn. 1530. Stele ofBesmut; 1510, 1511. Two small coffins of 
baked clay, containing statuettes of Osiris ; *1547. Wooden sta- 
tuette of Osiris; 1562. Perforated slab of porcelain, representing a 
scarabaeus in blue, green, and black enamel; 1493. Wooden head- 
rest, such as is still used in the Sudan and Japan. 

Cabinet K. 1445. Side of a sarcophagus of Besmut, dating 
from the period of the Sa'ite kings. The inscriptions are taken from 
the Ritual of the Dead. — 1483. Naos of elegant workmanship for 
a person named Nekht, a sitting figure of whom, in serpentine, oc- 
cupies the interior (13th dyn. ; Abydos). — In the front part of the 
cabinet is a necklace , consisting of small statuettes of Osiris in 

green enamel and the emblems ]P and u. 

Cabinet L. 1393. Papyrus written for the mummy of Amen- 
mes and containing a treatise on the lower world. 1307. Osiris sta- 
tuette of the scribe Neferhotep, in alabaster. 1306. Alabaster 
statuette of Awi, the royal scribe for the sacrificial offerings. Sev- 
eral wooden hawks, partly from coffins and shrines, partly from 
wooden statuettes of Osiris. This cabinet also contains numerous 
'cartonages' (p. 312) of the Graeco-Roman era, many of them with 
elaborate designs and wonderfully fresh colouring. 

Cabinet M. also contains cartonages and masks. 1200, 1201. 'Ca- 
nopi' or Canopic jars of terracotta, adorned with boldly and elegantly 
executed designs, and inscribed with the name 'Baau'. These jars 
contained the embalmed viscera of the mummy and were generally 
interred with it. They invariably occur in groups of four, either all 
with covers in the shape of human heads, or with the heads of a 
man, an ape, a hawk, and a jackal. — 1243, 1244. Two similar 
vases. Mummies of animals : 1271, 1274. Crocodiles, 1275. Jackal, 
1272. Ibis. Also shrines' and statuettes of Osiris in wood and other 

Cabinet N. 1123-1126. Canopi of painted limestone; 1156. 
Small stone naos of the 13th dynasty. 1171 et seq. Conical tiles 
of baked clay, of a kind found only at Thebes ; they were perhaps 
votive offerings. 

Between the pillars and the N. and S. walls are four glass-cases. 

Case A. (by the S. wall, to the left) contains a selection of fig- 
ures from the Egyptian Pantheon in bronze, porcelain, and lapis 
lazuli. 2625. (in the middle of the case) kneeling bronze figure 
with the head of a hawk and the arms raised in adoration. 2512. 
Group in bronze : Osiris seated between Nefer-Tum and Horus, and 
in front a kneeling worshipper. 2626. Sitting figure of Osiris, with 
Isis and Nephthys behind him ; *2665. Anubis ; 2664. Figure wor- 
shipping Isis, whose headgear consists of a fish; 2700. Horns; 
2697. Osiris as a mummy, in bronze % inlaid with gold ; 2595. Isis 

302 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

•with the head of a cow ; 2597. Ammon ; 2581. Apis-bull, with Isis 
on the right and Nephthys on the left; 2583. Mummy of Osiris be- 
tween Isis and Nephthys; 2576. Apis-bull, with a Carian inscrip- 
tion on the base; 2709. Serapis, with a papyrus plant on his head. 
— Among the Porcelain Figures the following are the most note- 
worthy : 2558. Isis, Horus, and Nephthys ; 2675. Thueris ; 2552. 
Figure of the god Set (almost unique) ; 2548. Ptah as a child ; 
2566. Thoth, Isis, Nephthys, and Khnum; 2559. Bes strangling a 
lion ; 2687. Ptah Sokar as a mummy, with a sceptre in his hand ; 
2640. Hathor-Isis with a child at her breast, while behind is an 
Isis sheltering her with her wings ; 2635. Harpocrates ; 2542. Cyno- 
cephalus or dog-faced ape, the emblem of the god Thoth. — Lapis 
lazuli Figures : 2643. Ma, the goddess of truth, with a golden fea- 
ther on her head ; 2638. Isis and Horus, with golden horns and the 
solar disk ; 2565. Horus holding a serpent (finely executed) ; *2646. 
Small figure of Horus in iridescent glass. 

Cabinet H. (N. wall) contains the ** Jewels of Queen Aah-hotep, 
mother of Aahmes (18th dyn.), found with the mummy of the Queen 
at Drah abu'l Negga (Thebes). In front : 3448. Bracelet for the upper 
arm, adorned with turquoises ; in front is a vulture with wings of 
lapis lazuli, cornelian, and paste in a gold setting (not enamelled). 
3476. Dagger with a handle formed of four female heads in gold and 
a blade damascened with the same metal; 3475. Axe with a handle of 
cedar wood encased in gold and inlaid with the name and titles of 
Aahmes in precious stones ; 3477. Pliable chain of gold, 36 inches 
long, to which is attached a scarabseus with wings inlaid with la- 
pis-lazuli ; 3508. Diadem with the cartouche of Aahmes and two 
sphinxes; 3510. Gold bracelet inlaid with lapis lazuli, representing 
King Aahmes kneeling between Seb and his acolytes ; 3509. Brace- 
let formed of pearls strung upon gold wire. 3582. Golden boat, 
resting upon a wooden frame with four wheels of bronze and con- 
taining twelve rowers, a steersman, and a figure holding a baton 
of command. The end of the boat, which is in the form of a lotus, 
bears the cartouche of King Karnes (end of the 17th dyn.). — On 
the N. side of the cabinet: 3564. Necklace (usekh) of gold, the links 
of which are in the form of coils of rope, cruciform flowers, ante- 
lopes chased by lions, jackals, vultures, and winged urseus ser- 
pents ; the clasps represent the heads of hawks. — 3565. Breast- 
plate of gold inlaid with precious stones. In the middle is a boat 
with a naos or ark, containing King Aahmes, on whose head 
Ammon and Ra are pouring the water of life ; at the back is an en- 
graved representation of the same scene. — 3580. Golden diadem 
with the head of Medusa, dating from the Greek period. — On the 
W. side of the cabinet : 3595. Gold chain with three flies in gold 
foil ; 3605. Wooden staff, with a crook at the end, overlaid with 
gold ; 3607. Fan of gilded wood, with the holes left by the ostrich 
feathers with which it was originally furnished. — On the S. side 

of Bxklak. CAIRO. 3. Route. 303 

of the cabinet: Bracelets and anklets of massive gold; 3628. Mirror 
of Queen Aah-hotep, made of wood, bronze, and gold. Adjacent are 
numerous rings and bracelets of the Graeco-Roman period. — Op- 
posite — 

Case P. Historical relics. 3834. Roll of mummy linen with the 
cartouche of King Pepi (6th dyn.), found at Sakkara ; 3956. Large 
alabaster vase, the capacity of which is indicated as '21 hiu' ; 3870. 
Circular vase with enamelled inscription mentioning Amenho- 
tep III. and his wife Tii (18th dyn.) ; 3894. Scarabaeus, admirably 
executed in green serpentine, with the cartouche of Ramses II. ; 
3901, 3902. Alabaster vase, with the name of King Mer-en-Ra on 
the bowl and that of his brother and successor, Pepi II. Ra-nefer-ka, 
on the lid. 3874. Bronze cube found at Tanis along with 15 others 
of the same kind; the inscriptions, with several names and cartouches 
that belong, perhaps, to the 13th dynasty, are inlaid in silver. 
3868. Piece of enamel with the cartouches of Ramses III., found 
at Tell el-Yehudiyeh (Shibin el-Kanatir). — 3960. Fragment of 
a statue of Taharka (25th dyn.). On the base are 14 fettered Asia- 
tics and 14 negroes, emblematical of the tribes conquered by Ta- 
harka. — 3893. Vase in blue enamel, with the cartouche of Thoth- 
mes III. (18th dyn.) ; 3910. Statuette of Ramses IV. as Osiris, in 
blue enamel; 3908. Fragment of a statue of Seti I. ; 3914. Large 
scarabaeus in blue enamel, with the cartouche of Ramses IV. (20th 
dyn.) ; 3925. Small heart-shaped amulet, inscribed with a chapter 
from the Ritual of the Dead and dedicated to Seti I. ; 3928. Small 
sphinx in green felspar, with the cartouches of Apries (26th dyn.); 
3897. Bronze aegis with the head of a king. — The case also con- 
tains a number of scarabaei inscribed with the names of kings 
and gods. 

Case O, between the pillars and the S. wall of the room, con- 
tains statuettes of Osiris, canopi, and objects connected with the 
dead. 1606, 1607, 1648, 1649. Alabaster canopi of the period 
of the 26th dyn., very finely executed. — 1621. Small votive sar- 
cophagus, in limestone, made in the time of the 22nd dynasty and 
dedicated to Ra. It contained the bier of black granite, now placed 
in front of it, on which lies the mummy of the deceased, guarded 
by the fcoul in the form of a hawk with a human head. — 1622. 
Wooden stele, the lower part of which is adorned with an Egyptian 
landscape, a representation of extremely rare occurrence ; 1594. 
Bronze statuette of Osiris; 1678. Papyrus with extracts from the 
Ritual of the Dead, prepared for a Theban named Mapui. 

Adjoining the four pillars in the centre of the hall are eight 
cabinets. Of these Cabinets R. and Q. contain models for sculptures, 
while the other six contain articles of daily life. Several of the 
slabs in Case Q. have reliefs on both sides. The most striking 
is No. 3393. Fragment of a ram, exceedingly delicate both in de- 
sign and execution. 

304 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

Cabinet Y. 3240. Hippopotamus in blue enamel, the body 
adorned with representations of plants, birds, and butterflies (11th 
dyn. ; Thebes). — *3622. Statuette of Osiris, in white enamel, in- 
laid with blue, yellow, and violet. The inscription mentions the 
name of Ptahmes (20th dyn.). This unique work is the most beau- 
tiful statuette of Osiris that has been found. — 3277. "Wooden case 
for perfume. The handle consists of a nude female figure in the act 
of swimming and holding in her outstretched arms a duck, the body 
of which is hollowed out to receive the perfume, while the wings 
form the cover. — 3289, 3305, 3306, 3314. Enamel works from Tell 
el-Yehudiyeh. No. 3306. represents a garland of lotus flowers and 
buds. — 3278. Head of a king of the 26th dynasty, in blue porcelain. 
3304. Small wooden reel or bobbin of thread, terminating at each 
end in a human head; 3315. Fine bronze figure of the goddess Bast. 

Cabinet V. contains glass phials and vases. *3159. Head of a 
girl, carved in wood, found near the pyramids of Gizeh; 3179. 
Green enamelled brick with the cartouches of Ramses III. (almost 
unique) ; 3181. Tortoise in wood, with holes containing wooden 
hair-pins (11th dyn. ; Thebes). — 3182. Board for a game re- 
sembling draughts ; the drawer contains seven of the pieces used 
in the game, inlaid with ivory. 3183. is another board of the same 
kind. — 3195. Reed-basket (11th dyn.), almost identical with the 
parti-coloured baskets still made by the natives of Assuan. 

Cabinet V. contains vases and other vessels for eye-powder 
(3063, 3066, 3068, 3069). 3080. Vase of green jasper in the shape 
of a heart, with a scarabaeus engraved on the one side and the 30th 
chapter of the Ritual of the Dead on the other; 3092. Inkstand in 
green porcelain for red and black ink ; *3098. Bust of Isis in blue 
enamel, with the cartouches of Ramses III. ; 3059. Blue colouring 
material, retaining the shape of the little bag that contained it 
(Tell el-Yehudiyeh) ; 3090. Small piece of stone, for grinding the 
colours used in writing; 3093. Split rings of cornelian, ivory, and 
glass, found in mummy-cases (use unknown) ; 3107. Sceptre in 
bronze of the Saite period, with a crocodile bearing a boat, which 
in turn supports a naos. 

Cabinet X. 2929. Palette used by scribes, with six different 
colours and the cartouche of Thothmes III. (18th dyn.). *2949, 
2950, 2960, 2961, 2968. Five silver vases of elaborate workman- 
ship, found at Tell Tma'i (Mendes) ; the details consist of the flow- 
ers, buds, and leaves of the lotus. 2965. Lion's head, in red jas- 
per; 2966. Silver boat with ten rowers and a steersman, found 
with the trinkets of Queen Aah-hotep ; 2984. Statue in green 
enamelled clay, standing on a base covered with inscriptions, which 
mention the name of Nefer-abra (26th dyn.); 2986. Dies, resembl- 
ing those still in use ; 2991. Small bronze sphinx of the Persian era. 

Cabinets S. and T. contain vases of terracotta and bronze, for 
holding perfume, water, meal, etc. 

of Buldk. CAIRO. 3. Route. 3Uii 

In the centre of the room : **3961. Statue of King Khefren or 
Khafra, the builder of the second pyramid, found in the well of 
the granite temple near the Great Sphinx (p. 365). 

The king is represented in life-size, sitting on a throne, the arms of 
which terminate in lions' heads. At the sides of the seat are papyrus 

and lotus plants intertwined around the symbol of union V , which indi- 
cates the junction of Upper with Lower Egypt, and is perhaps emblemati- 
cal of the transition from this life to the next. On the pedestal, to the 
right and left of the feet of the statue, is inscribed in distinct hiero- 
glyphic characters : 'The prince and victorious Horus, Khafra, the good 
god and lord of the diadem'. In his right hand the monarch holds a 
roll of papyrus. On the top of the back of the throne is a hawk, protect- 
ing the king's head with its outspread wings. The torso is of a more 
thickset type than is the case with the statues of the modern empire, 
having been modelled in accordance with the rules prescribed by the 
hieratic canon at that early period, and the whole figure breathes a spirit 
of strength and repose. The muscles of the breast and legs are repro- 
duced with wonderful accuracy. The statue is made of an extremely 
hard diorite, the difficulty of working which has been overcome by the 
artist in a marvellous manner. 

**3962. (railed in) Wooden Statue from Sakkara known as the 
Shtkh el-beled (village-chief), a name given to it by the Arabs on 
account of its resemblance to a well-fed specimen of that modern 

The figure, which dates from the early part of the old empire, affords 
a proof that the Egyptian sculptors were quite capable of executing really 
artistic work whenever they could shake off the fetters of their rigid 
canon. The individuality and realism of this figure will afford a pleasant 
surprise to those who have found it difficult to admire the stiff conven- 
tional forms of Egyptian art. The feet, which had been broken off, are 
restored, but the rest of the figure is in its original condition. The up- 
per part of the body and the legs are bare, while from the hips hangs a 
kind of apron folded in front. In the hand is the long rod of office. The 
round head with its short hair, and the portrait-like, good-natured face 
are remarkably life-like. The eyes, which have a somewhat rigid ex- 
pression, were put in, as in the case of other similar statues, after the 
work was completed. They consist of pieces of opaque white quartz with 
pupils formed of rock-crystal, in the centre of which is placed a polished 
metal knob for the double purpose of securing them and giving them 
light and sparkle ; and they are framed with thin plates of bronze, the 
edges of which form the eyelids. The figure was originally covered with 
a thin coating of plaster of Paris and painted. — The female torso in the 
Salle de l'Ancien Empire (No. 1044) was found in the grave of the Shekh 
el-Beled and probably represents his wife. 

**5243. Statue of Hathor, the goddess of the infernal regions, 
bending her head, adorned with the disk and double feather, pro- 
tectingly over the deceased Psametik. Nos. 5245 (Osiris), 5246 
(Isis), and 5244 (sacrificial slab) were found in the same tomb. 

This group, executed in green basalt, and found at Sakkara, is one 
of the best works of the 26th dynasty. The heads are remarkably at- 
tractive, but the treatment of the other parts of the body is much in- 
ferior to that of the ancient empire. The technical execution, however, 
shows the utmost care anl skil 

By the N. wall, behind the statue of Khefren, are numerous 
Canopi (see p. 301). — 1841. Small stele in black basalt, repre- 
senting 'Horus on the crocodiles' ; the inscription contains magical 

Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 20 

306 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

formulae and formed a talisman against evil. — 1846. (behind the 
last), Papyrus found at Thebes, containing moral precepts couched 
in the form of a dialogue. Above, 1847. Ritual of the Dead with 
coloured representations, prepared for a person named Senhotep 
(20th dyn. ; Thebes). *1848. Geographical papyrus, describing, 
after a somewhat mythical and allegorical fashion, the Fayum and 
Lake Mceris (Thebes ; Greek period). — Along the walls and be- 
tween the cabinets are wooden coffins of various periods, most of 
them found in Thebes. 

The door on the W. side of the Salle du Centre leads to the 
Salle de l'Ancien Empire, which contains the largest existing col- 
lection of monuments of the primaeval empire, i. e. of the time 
of the builders of the pyramids. In the middle of the N. side : 
*1050. Double group in limestone, found in 1870 in a mastaba 
near Medum, the colouring still remarkably fresh. It represents 
Prince Rahotep and his wife Nefert, a princess of the blood, 
both in the costume of the period (4th or 5th dyn.). The eyes, 
made of coloured quartz, impart a very lifelike air to the figures. 
— To the left of the last, 1052. Statue of Ti, in limestone, found 
in the Serdab of his tomb at Sakkara (p. 388) ; to the right, 1049. 
Statue of Nefer-kha-ra (5th dyn.'). — By the E. Wall: *1037-1039. 
Three wooden panels with reliefs. 

These panels, taken from the walls of a tomb, represent the figure 
of 'Hosi% the deceased, while the hieroglyphics above give his name and 
his titles. The work is executed by a master hand and is not unworthy 
of comparison with the Shekh el-Beled (4th dyn. ; Sakkara). 

N. side, in the cabinet in the corner to the right: 1051. Frag- 
ment of the inner lining of a tomb, found in a grave at Medum. 

The six geese represented here are drawn and coloured with great 
accuracy, while the treatment shows considerable cleverness'and humour. 
The material is a kind of hardened clay coated with plaster of Paris. 

Below, Models of boats used in transporting mummies (11th 
dyn. ; Sakkara). — The cabinet in the left corner of the same 
side contains small and lifelike figures, differing entirely from the 
ordinary stiff attitudes of Egyptian statues : 1002. Man in a crouch- 
ing position cleaning a vase : *1006. Scribe in a kneeling pos- 
ture, with his arms crossed (inlaid eyes); 1001. Man with a sack 
on his shoulder and his sandals in his hand; 1012, 1013. Two 
women grinding corn ; 1014. Dwarf named Khnumhotep, 'keeper 
of the linen for embalming'. These figures all belong to the 4th, 
5th, and 6th dynasties. — 1007. Small sacrificial chest, probably 
used by the priests. It contains a sacrificial slab, vases, knives, 
etc. (6th dyn.). — On the walls are several tombstones in the form 
of doors, chiefly from Sakkara. — In front of the window : 1053. 
Large limestone sarcophagus from Thebes, of which a drawing was 
made by Lepsius in 1842, but which was afterwards again lost 
under heaps of rubbish and not rediscovered till 1882. It belongs 
to the 11th dynasty and was made for a person named Tagi. The 

of Bulak. CAIRO. 3. Route. 307 

interior is adorned with numerous inscriptions and scenes relating 
to the dead, most of them in good preservation. 

In the middle of the S. Wall: *975. Statue of Ra-nefer, a priest, 
■wearing a wig (in limestone). The muscles of the arms and breast 
are executed with great realism , and the statue ranks among 
the most perfect specimens of Egyptian art (5th dyn. ; Sakkara). 
— To the right, 974. Basaltic statue of King Khefren at a more 
advanced age than in No. 3961 (p. 305); the statue, which was 
found with the latter in the granite temple near the Sphinx, has 
been freely restored. — *964. A large and very perfectly executed 
sarcophagus in rose-coloured granite, of great antiquity, which once 
contained the remains of a priest of Apis named Khufu-ankh. 

The sides recall the domestic rather than the sepulchral style of archi- 
tecture, but in Egypt these styles were similar in many respects. The 
ancient Egyptians used to call their earthly dwellings 'inns' or 'lodgings', 
while they styled their tombs 'everlasting houses'. The ends of the beams, 
resembling triglyphs, should be noticed. 

965. Similar but plainer sarcophagus, prepared for Prince 
Hirba'if. 970. Similar sarcophagus with the angles rounded, bear- 
ing the name of Prince Kamskhem. These three sarcophagi were 
all found near the Pyramids of Gizeh and date from the time of 
the 4th dynasty. 

Adjacent, by the W. "Wall: 886. Stele of limestone, with an 
inscription of 50 lines, in which the deceased Uni records his ex- 
ploits under the three Pharaohs, Teta, Pepi I., and Mer-en-ra, includ- 
ing his woTk on the pyramids constructed by the last two kings 
(both in Sakkara, opened in 1880-81 ; comp. p. 402). — 882. 
Celebrated tombstone of the 25th dynasty, probably a copy of an 
original of the 4th dynasty. 

The inscription is a record by King Cheops of various works and 
restorations carried out by him. It contains a representation of the great 
sphinx of Gizeh, with an intimation 'that the dwelling of the sphinx 
Harmachis lies to the S. of the temple of Isis and to the N. of the temple 
of Osiris'. 

Also on the S. side of the room are various fragments from 
tombs at Sakkara, with scenes of great life and humour. 887. 
Boatmen, engaged in the transportation of fruit and other p ovi- 
sions, fall into a quarrel and attack each other with the oars. 889. 
In the upper row are represented the various stages in the making 
of bread; below are slaves pouring wine into jars. 890. Shepherds 
conducting their flocks across the inundated fields, and scaring off 
the crocodiles, which lurk amid the reeds, by loud cries and 
gestures. 908. Fruit-seller teasing an ape, which has seized him 
by the leg. 

W. "Wall. 958. The two upper rows represent field workers, 
the third the making of wine and bread. In the lowest row are 
goldsmiths weighing gold and sculptors at work with their polishing 
stones. — 959. Shepherds pasturing their flocks ; below, shepherds 
and fishermen preparing for a meal. — To the right and left of 


308 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

the door, 881, 1046. Steles from the grave of Sabu at Sakkara 
(p. 401). 

The first of these represents the deceased sitting at a table covered 
with slaughtered cattle, eggs, flowers, fruit, and other offerings, which 
are being brought in by servants ; on the other slab we see Sabu seated 
in a kind of litter, while a number of men and women are bringing 
their gifts to the tomb. Below are represented the cutting up of 
slaughtered oxen, the deceased navigating the Nile, and his cattle being 
driven before him to be counted. All these scenes are intended to 
imply that in the next world the just continue the same life as they 
lived in this, but in a state of greater felicity. 

In front of the steles, 986, 988. Two sacrificial tables in 

Two lions support each of the tables in a slightly tilted position, so 
that the libations ran down into a vase placed between the tails of the 
lions (4th dyn.). 

The door on the E. side of the Salle du Centre leads to the 
Salle Fruieraire, which contains wooden sarcophagi from Thebes, 
chiefly belonging to the priests of Mentu, and also others found 
in 1884 in the necropolis of Akhmim (Panopolis). To the right 
and left are two large octagonal glass-cases containing scarabaei, 
amulets of glass, enamelled clay, and cornelian, and objects used 
in the adornment of the dead. 

Cases AN, AO, and AP. contain scarabaei, the finest of which 
are No. 4572, in felspar; No. 4567, in gold; and No. 4566, in 
light-coloured serpentine, of very delicate workmanship. 

Case AQ. contains figures of deities in bronze. 4585. Isis, with 
winged arms raised in an attitude of protection ; the indented por- 
tions were formerly filled with enamel. 4587. Two wooden tablets 
with figures of the god Bess. 

Case AR. Scarabaei, the emblem of the heart, found in the 
bodies of mummies whence the heart had been removed, and other 
smaller scarabaei, made of cornelian and granite. 4555. Heart 
with a man's head in amethyst, perhaps dating from the 11th dy- 
nasty; 4562. Amulets in the form of outstretched fingers, probably 
interred with the mummy to avert the evil eye (26th dyn.). — 
Case AS. contains objects in bronze, used as ornaments for the 
heads of small statues, including Ammon and Osiris feathers, Isis 
horns, false beards, and the like. — Case AT. Pectorals, or eccles- 
iastical breast-ornaments, in the form of shrines, some of them 
inlaid with glass. 4333. Scarabaeus in blue enamel, with expand- 
ed wings ; 4328. Scarabaeus made of coloured glass beads ; 4327. 
Scarabaeus in perforated work. 

Case AV. Small sceptres in wood and bronze. 4274. Pectoral 
plate, representing Isis on a lotus between two winged serpents ; 
4303. Kukupha, or sceptre of wood ; 4271. ^Egis, head of Isis 
with the solar disk and horns ; 4278. Small aegis of quartz. 

W. Side. Cabinet AE. Wooden chests in the shape of a naos, 
wooden statuettes of Osiris, chains of cornelian, glass, and other 
beads. 4402. Fragment of a frieze found in Tell el-Yehudiyeh, 

of Bul&k. CAIRO. 3. Route. 309 

with a fantastic bird, probably meant for a phoenix. Above are 
two round disks of enamel (No. 4401), with ornamentation re- 
sembling stars , found at the same place. 4427. Wooden naos 
with well-preserved colouring. 4420. Small stele of wood, for- 
merly gilded. 

The fact that the figure of Osiris alone is intact proves that the 
mutilation of the stele took place at a very early period, when the 
thieves did not dare to remove the gold on the figure of the god. 

S. Wall. Case AD. 4436. Osiris in the first stage of his re- 
surrection (comp. p. 130), a figure of diorite with a double feather of 
gold on the head (26th dyn.); 4441. Case for a sceptre or standard, 
in the shape of a boat terminating at each end in a lotus ; 4450. 
Figure of the royal scribe Ani, in black granite, holding a sistrnm 
with the head of Hathor (18th dyn.). — *4454. Small figure of 
the ancient empire (5th dyn.), in limestone, described by the 
inscription as the 'steward of the grain for tribute, Nefer'. This 
is one of the finest specimens of Egyptian sculpture. — 4457. 
Vase of grey granite, encircled by a serpent and bearing the names 
of King Piankhi (23rd dyn.) and a queen (the latter illegible); 
4449. Urseus serpent in bronze, perhaps used as a sceptre ; 4475. 
Weight of grey granite in the form of a calf's head, with the oar- 
touches of Seti I (19th dyn.) and a stamp indicating the weight 
(300 Utes) ; 4479. Door-hinge, in bronze, with the cartouche of 
Queen Shep-en-apet, daughter of Queen Ameneritis and wife of 
Psammetikh I. (26th dyn.). 

Cabinet AC. Chairs, baskets, wooden instruments of husband- 
men and masons, fruits, seeds, and other objects used in common 
life. 4493. Chair with lion's claws as feet, 4495. Similar chair 
without the lion's feet, both found in Thebes (11th dyn.); 4497. 
Wooden hatchet; 4650. Wooden ruler. In the middle of the 
cabinet is a large basket (No. 4618), filled with the fruit of the 
dum-palm (p. 78). In front are saucers of red earth containing 
grain, olives, and eggs. 

E. Wall. *3599. Tomb Chamber of the 11th dynasty, found 
at Thebes and brought to Bulak in 1883. 

The tomb was prepared for a Theban grandee named Herhotep, whose 
stone sarcophagus, covered with inscriptions, occupies almost the whole 
available space in the interior. The drawings and hieroglyphics, the 
latter consisting of citations from the Ritual of the Dead, resemble those 
of the primaeval empire. On the wall opposite the door is a list of the 
sacrificial offerings. 

N. Side. Octagonal glass-case. Section A O. Figures of men 
and animals in glass paste of different colours. Ram, in green and 
black ; Eagle, black with a white beak ; Cow, red and blue ; Bird 
with a human head, representing the soul, in red and green. All 
the objects in this section were found with mummies from the 
Fayiim (Labyrinth). 

Section AH. 4096. The goddess Ma, with the face coloured 
light-blue, the body reddish brown, and a necklace of variegated 

310 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

mosaic; 4091. Four female heads, of a light-blue colour ; 4090. 
Two jackals, in obsidian ; 4099. Two plates of gold, engraved with 

Section AI. So-called ut'a eyes spy- , in various materials. 

These amulets are emblematical of the eyes of Ra which illumine 
the world (p. 128), the right eye being called the sun, and the left 
the moon ; the former also symbolising the king, and the latter the 
queen. The dead, when rising from their graves, are represented as 
ut'a eyes. — Small head-rests, symbolical of the eternal resting- 
place of pure souls. — Small columns in green felspar or earthen- 
ware, emblematical of the renewed spring or rejuvenescence of the 

Section A3. Paste imitations of precious stones, works in glass, 
and mosaics. Among the last are an ape, a human head, and small 
star-shaped flowers ; if split into thin sheets, each layer of the 
mosaic shows the same pattern. Small tortoise, executed with great 
care and truth to nature. 

Section AK. Hares , crocodiles, hedgehogs , cows , and other 
animals in enamelled clay, cornelian, agate, and lapis lazuli. 4163. 
Elephant (rare); 4173. Ape leaning on its elbow, a work showing 
a good deal of humour. 

Section Ah. Cornelian rings and serpents. In the middle, 
Collection of small ornaments for a necklace, several of which, in 
the shape of cartouches, bear the name of Ramses II. 

Section AM. Amulets and emblems: T? Tat, the symbol of 
constancy; t^> the heart; "T" the symbol of life (?). 

Section AF. Amulets : rO) rising of the sun ; fl emblem of the 

the goddess Neith ; Q— , , /\ emblems of impartiality ; (J symbol of 

the clothing of the dead in the other world ; etc. 

W. Wall. Cabinet Z. 4480. Wooden figure of the ancient king- 
dom. 4846. Small round naos in terracotta , found at Abydos ; 
over the door is a frieze of urseus snakes, while round the exterior 
runs a series of scenes representing Osiris receiving sacrifices and 
worship from a family of Abydos. 4919. Large two-handled terra- 
cotta vase, with the inscription 'Year 33, wine prepared for trans- 
portation'. 4876. Small models of votive offerings in terracotta, 
bearing the name of the scribe Nib. The case also contains a col- 
lection of terracotta moulds for the preparation of amulets and 
figures in glazed earthenware. At the top of the case are alabaster 
vases, of the most varied shapes. 

N. Wall. Cabinet AA. Palettes for scribes and painters, combs, 

of Bulak. CAIRO. 3. Route. 3 1 1 

needles, phials for salves and cosmetics, nails, and other finely- 
executed objects in wood. 4737. Double comb, in wood ; 4728. 
Three polishing stones ; 4747. Six fish-hooks; 4764. Small lizard in 
lead, a metal seldom used by the ancient Egyptians. 4791. Model 
of an Egyptian house , showing that the present natives of Kurna 
and Drah abu'l Negga have in no way improved or altered the 
domestic architecture of their forefathers. 4830. Iron key, probably 
of the Graeco-Roman period. 

Cabinet AB. Weapons, darts, chisels, knives, pincers, axes, and 
arrow-heads. Many of the chisels and axes (e. g. 4657, 4463) bear 
the cartouches of Thothmes III. and Queen Hatasu (18th dyn.). 
4705. Bronze chisel with the head of a hawk ; 4714-4716. Bows 
and arrows, some of the latter tipped with flint or bone (see also 
No. 4720). The two alabaster statues (Nos. 4648, 4685) belong to 
the 4th or 5th dynasty and are destitute of inscriptions. 4676. 
Double group in limestone, found at Sakkara (5th or 6th dyn.). — 
4673, 4674. Two boards for games: the first is divided into 30 
squares, lour of which bear special names ; the other has three 
squares, with holes for the insertion of the wooden pins used 
in the game. Both date from the period of the 17th dynasty and 
were found at Thebes. — 4713. Sabre of hard wood, with the name 
of King Rasekenen on the one side and that of the 'royal son' on 
the other. 

Cabinet AV (without glass) contains basreliefs of the period of 
the 18th dynasty. The titles, as well as the style of execution and 
design, which recall the monuments of Tell el-Amama, seem to in- 
dicate that the persons here represented lived at the close of the 
reign of Amenophis III. or the beginning of that of Amenophis IV. 

Cabinet AX contains a selection of Canopi (see p. 301). — 
5005,5008. Two unfinished statues in grey serpentine, found at 
Mitrahineh (Memphis), the one of a man kneeling and holding a 
naos, the other a standing figure divided by a still distinguishable 
red line into two halves. — 5021. Granite statue without an inscrip- 
tion, found at Karnak and probably belonging to the 18th dynasty. 
The figure is in a kneeling posture and holds in front of it a kind 
of altar in the form of a column, with the head of Hathor and a lotus. 

We now leave the Salle Fune"raire and pass into the Salle des 
Momies Boyales, which contains the valuable collection of monu- 
ments found at Der el-Bahri (Thebes) on July 5th, 1881. 

The first suspicions of the existence of the royal tombs at Der el- 
Bahri date from 1871, but the Arabs of the neighbourhood carefully con- 
cealed their knowledge of them and long baffled the curiosity of travellers. 
Statuettes of Osiris, rolls of papyrus, and other objects offered for sale 
at Luksor gradually put investigators on the right scent, and finally in 
1831 the source of these antiquities was discovered, yielding a treasure 
that surpassed the most sanguine expectations. 

We begin with the S. Wall. 5205. Double coffin of Masaherta, 
high-priest of Ammon, son of King Pinetem II. and father of Queen 
Hest-em-sekhet (21st dyn.). Adjacent, 5206. Double coffin of 

3 1 2 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

Ta-u-hert, priestess of Ammon (21st dyn.). 5207. Double coffin 
of Pinetemlll., son of Hest-em-sekhet, and of Men-kheper-ra, two 
high-priests of Ammon (21st dyn.). — On the other side of the 
passage : 5208. OuteT case of the mummy of Queen Hest-em-sekhet. 
5209. Double coffin of Princess Nesi-Khunsu. 5210. Exterior 
mummy-case of Queen Ramaka and her daughter Mutemhat. 5211. 
Double coffin of Tet-Ptah-auf-ankh, priest of Ammon (22nd dyn.). 
5212. Double coffin (blackened with bitumen at a later period) 
of Nesi-ta-neb-asher, priestess of Ammon (22nd dyn.). 5213. 
Coffin of Thothmes III. (18th dyn.), much injured and robbed of 
its rich gilding. 5215. Coffin of Queen Hent-ta-ui (21st dyn.). — 
By the pillars : 5247. Large mummy-case or 'cartonage', in the shape 
of Osiris, of Queen Ahmes-nefer-ateri , wife of Amosis I. 5222. 
Mummy-case of Queen Aah-hotep, wife of Amenophis I. and mother 
of Amosis I. (similar to the last ; see p. 302). 

Both these cases are of huge size and are formed of innumerable 
layers of linen cloth, tightly pressed and glued together and covered with 
a thin coating of stucco. The solid mass of linen thus prepared is at 
least as hard as wood, and is adorned with painted and incised ornaments 
and inscriptions. Each of the mummies wears a wig, surmounted by a 
crown and douhle feather. 

Between the pillars and the N. "Wall stands Cabinet AY, the 
upper shelf of which contains a bronze pedestal with four vases for 
libations, inscribed with the name of Queen Hest-em-sekhet. Ad- 
jacent is a wooden chest for containing statuettes of Osiris, bearing 
the cartouches of Pinetem II. Below are two shelves with Osiris 
statuettes, in blue glazed clay, dedicated to the memory of Pine- 
tem II. , Masaherta. Pinetemlll., Tet-Ptah-auf-ankh, Hest-em- 
sekhet, Hent-ta-ui, Nesi-Khunsu, Ramaka, Nesi-ta-neb-asher, 
and Ta-u-hert. — Lower down are several votive gifts found with 
the mummy of Hest-em-sekhet. 5261. Ivory casket with inscrip- 
tions and the cartouches of Ramses IX. — 6262. (lowest shelf but 
one), False mummy of a child, fabricated at a very remote period 
by thieves, to take the place of the real one; the mummy-case bears 
the nameof Princess Setamu, daughter of Amosisl. (18th dyn.). Ad- 
jacent are two small oars found with the mummy of Thothmes III. 
At the botton of the cabinet are several finely-executed canopi'. 

Cabinet BD, between the pillars and the S. wall. On the upper- 
most shelf are two wigs belonging to Queen Hest-em-sekhet, and 
between them a small wooden box with the cartouches of Pinetem II. 
Second shelf : Osiris statuettes. Third shelf: Fruits of the dum 
palm, raisins, and dates ; small vases in blue glazed earth bearing 
the name of Princess Nesi-Khunsu ; similar vases of glass paste, 
green, blue, or black and white. 5248. Casket in wood and ivory 
with the cartouches of Queen Hatasu (18th dyn.). 5249. Fragment 
of the coffin of Ramses I. Fourth shelf: 5250. Mummy of Sokar- 
em-saf, found in 1881 in the pyramid built by this king at Sakkara 
(6th dyn.). 

of Bulak. CAIRO. 3. Route. 313 

Cabinets AZ and BC, placed at the foot of the pillars, opposite 
each other, contain wigs, boxes made of the papyrus reed, vases 
for libations, and leaves and flowers found with royal mummies, 
which have been prepared and described by Dr. Schweinfurth. 

In the centre of the room is a large Funereal Bed, intended for 
the reception of the mummy. 

The feet of the bed. which was found in Thebes and belongs to the 
11th dynasty, are formed of two lions. The mummy, which is of later date, 
is that of a priestess of Ammon, daughter of Prince Takelot (23rd dyn.). 

5221. Exact reproduction, on a reduced scale (one-third) of 
the tent or canopy of the mummy of Hest-em-sekhet, painted by 
MM. Brugsch and Bouriant. 

The original, which is made of dyed leather, has been so damaged, 
that it cannot be exhibited until it has undergone a long and costly pro- 
cess of restoration. 

N. "Wall, within the recess with panelled sides. 5227. Coffin 
of Rasekenen III. (end of the 17th dyn.) ; 5228. Wooden coffin of 
Amosis I. (18th dyn.), painted yellow, with ornamention and in- 
scriptions in blue ; 5229. Inner case and mummy of Queen Ahmes- 
nefer-ateri ; 5230. Coffin and mummy of Amenophis I. (18th dyn.), 
the head wearing a mask. In the corner : *5202. Richly gilded lid of 
the coffin of Aah-hotep, mother of Amosis I. (17th dyn. ; p. 312). 

E. Wall. 5231. Coffin and mummy of Thothmes II. (18th dyn.) ; 
5232. Coffin and mummy of Seti I., father of Ramses the Great 
(19th dyn.). 5233. Coffin and mummy of Ramses II., surnamed 
the Great (19th dyn.). 

The two inscriptions on the coffin record that in the 16th year of 
King Siamu the mummy was removed from the tomb of Seti I., and that 
in the 10th year of the high-priest Pinetem it was again removed and 
transferred to the tomb of Amenophis I. 

Adjacent, *5234. Coffin of Netem-Mut, mother of King Herhor 
(20th dyn.), finely executed but in a very dilapidated condition ; 
the ornamentation and inscriptions are inlaid with coloured glass. 

S. Wall. 5235. Inner case with the mummy of Queen Hest-em- 
sekhet ; 3236. Inner case and mummies of Queen Ramaka and her 
daughter Mutemhat, who died at the same time. 5237. Coffin and 
mummy of Nebsenui, a priestly scribe; this mummy is in wonder- 
ful preservation, even the eye-lashes are visible. 5238. Coffin and 
mummy of Pinetem II., with teeth ground to a point. 

The two Stands contain eight other mummies, also found in 1881. 

Salle Greco-Romaine. This room contains mummies and tomb- 
stones of the Grseco-Roman period, Greek and Coptic inscriptions, 
and numerous smaller relics, arranged in eight cabinets. To the 
right of the entrance, *5400. The famous Decree of Canopus (pp. 
447, 455), found at Tanis (and usually called the Tablet of Tanis, 
to distinguish it from another copy in the Louvre). 

This tablet confirmed the correctness of the method of deciphering 
discovered by the celebrated Champollion , and employed by Egypto- 
logists since the finding of the Rosetta Stone (p. 450). On the limestone 
pillar are inscribed three different versions of the same decree \ above 
it appears in hieroglyphics , or the Ancient Egyptian written language, 

314 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

below in Greek, and on the margins in the popular dialect written in 
the Demotic character. The decree was pronounced by an assembly of 
the priests in the temple of Canopus on 7th March (17th Tybi), B.C. 238, 
in the reign of Ptolemy III. Euergetes I. ; it praises the king for having 
brought back the images of the gods from Asia, gained many victories, pre- 
served peace in the land, and saved it from imminent famine by his fore- 
thought in importing corn ; and it concludes with a resolution that the 
assembly shall call itself 'the priesthood of the Euergetes of the gods', found 
a new sacerdotal caste to be named after Euergetes, institute new festivals 
in honour of the king and queen, and introduce an improvement in the 
popular calendar. It is also resolved to pay permanent honour in all 
the temples throughout the country to the Princess Berenice, who died young 
and unmarried, and to celebrate certain festivals yearly to her memory. 
In all temples of the first and second rank costly and beautiful statues 
were to be erected to the 'princess of virgins', to which various servi- 
ces were to be rendered and offerings presented. Her praises were to be 
sung by specially trained choirs, and chiefly by virgins, and the bread 
provided for the priestesses was to be stamped 'bread of Berenice'. 
The inscriptions lastly declare that the decree is to be inscribed on slabs 
of bronze or of stone in the holy (hieroglyphic), the Egyptian (demotic), 
and the Greek languages , and to be exhibited conspicuously in every 
temple of the first and second rank. 

To the left of the door, 5401. Another copy of the same decree 
found at Tell el-Hizn (Lower Egypt) in 1881. The representations 
above the inscriptions show the royal family in adoration before the 
gods of Egypt. — 5457. Coptic inscription found at Der el-Bahri 
in a grave used as a chapel. The text consists of a tirade against 
heretics and the usual prayer for the emperor and his family. — 
5466. Fragment of a marble stele with the names of certain citi- 
zens of Memphis, who had erected a monument to a high function- 
ary in the temple of Ptah. 5455. Coffin in baked clay, of the By- 
zantine epoch, found at Syene (Assuan). Rectangular coffin of lead, 
of the Gra?co-Roman period, found at Alexandria. 5426. Stele of 
the 26th dynasty, representing King Apries offering a sacrifice to 
Ptah-Sokar-Osiris ; on the upper margin, to the right, is a Carian 
inscription which has not yet been deciphered. ■ — 5492. Stele of 
the Persian period, representing a god standing on a lion and bear- 
ing on his head the disk of the sun and the crescent of the moon ; 
at the sides are lunar crescents surmounted by ears. 

5566. White marble statue of a Roman lady, found at Tell 
Mokhdam. This figure stands on No. 5565, a quadrangular base of 
red granite , with a Greek inscription dedicated to Antinous by a 
governor of Thebes. — Opposite, 5563. Block of close-grained sand- 
stone, with a frieze containing the cartouches of Psammetichus I. 
and Shabako. Below is a long Greek inscription with the names of 
the emperors Valens, Valentinian, and Gratian. 

5613, 5614. Two mummies found at Sakkara, dating from the 
latest period and adorned with reliefs of Christian and Egyptian 
emblems (3rd or 4th cent, of the present era). — 5574. Lid of the 
mummy-case of a sacred ram, found in 1871 at Tma'i el-Amdid, 
the ancient Mendes. The ornamentation includes representations 
of the twelve hours of the day and night. — 5515. Porphyry bust 

of Buldk. CAIRO. 3. Route. 315 

of a Roman emperor, unnamed ; 5532. Colossal figure in rose- 
coloured granite, probably representing one of the Ptolemies ; 5550. 
Bust of the Nile, a beautifully executed work of the Roman period; 
5569. Siren playing the lyre, a figure of great rarity found in the 
Serapeum at Sakkara (feet modern). — 5609. Rectangular coffin 
with a pointed cover, a good work of the Greek period ; the triangu- 
lar ends were adorned with stucco basreliefs of sirens, painted and 
gilded, like the one found in the Serapeum. — 5610, 5575. Wood- 
en ooffins with inscriptions and representations in black , both of 
the Gr<eco-Roman period. 

Cabinet BE. In the middle, Isis, in white marble. The vases, 
candelabra, and lamps surrounding this figure date from the Christian 
epoch, and were found chiefly in the Fayum and Coptos. *5624. 
Vase in blue glazed earth, of the Ptolemaic period. 

Cabinet BF. Objects like those in Cab. BE, and also carvings in 
ivory, either enclosed in wooden frames or intended for the adorn- 
ment of wooden caskets. 5713. Two wooden panels with Greek in- 
scriptions engraved upon a coating of wax. 5709. The triangular 
ends of No. 5609 (see above). The four heads of Medusa, numbered 
5711, also belong to No. 5609; they are made of painted and 
gilded stucco and are fastened in round wooden saucers. The rest 
of the collection consists of terracotta lamps and figures. 

Cabinet BO. Below, 5767. The god Bess, in painted terracotta ; 
5765. Grotesque figure of a woman; 5789, 5769, 5808, 5823. 
Terracotta plaques with reliefs from Grecian history. — 5846. 
Bacchic procession (lower half mutilated) ; 5769. Basrelief in per- 
forated work , of earlier date than the foregoing. Nos. 5874 and 
5886. are similar pieces of less careful workmanship. — 5777. Two 
bronze plates, containing military commissions of the time of Domi- 
tian, both found at Coptos. *5807. Bronze lamp ; the handle ends 
in a flower from which a lion emerges. *5812. Black terracotta 
saucer, with busts of the Alexandrian Isis and Serapis in the middle. 
Cabinet BH. 5872. Terracotta relief of a goddess sitting on a 
swan and holding a bow in her left hand; 5830, 5831. Two Assy- 
rian cylinders found in the Isthmus of Suez ; 5883. Bronze mirror 
of the Greek period, finely chased; 5871. Anubis in the garb 
of a Roman soldier and wielding a club ; 5876. Handles of a vase 
decorated with horses' heads, probably of the early Greek period. 

Cabinet BI. 5949. Faun lying on a wineskin , a good Greek 
work ; 4948. Fragment of a similar figure. 5909. Hilt of a Roman 
sword, in the shape of an eagle's head ; the blade is of a later date. 
5956. Statuette of Venus in gold, repousse work ; 5920. Gold ring 
with a piece of lapis lazuli, on one side of which are three deities, 
on the other a gnostic inscription. 

Cabinet BJ. On the top shelf are figures of animals in terra- 
cotta. On the second shelf, 6118. Small round altar on a square 
base; to the right, fragment of a vase. *Bust with an angel's head, 

316 Route 3. CAIRO. Museum 

the arms pressed against the breast and holding a butterfly. — The 
two lower shelves contain modern reproductions of stone and bronze 
figures, small steles, and scarabaei, most of them manufactured in 
Keneh and Thebes. The terracotta figures in the lowest shelf but 
one, resembling those of Tanagra , were found at Alexandria , in 
tombs of the Ptolemaic period. 

The cabinet adjoining the N.W. pillar contains trinkets of silver 
and gold, a beautifully executed little stele in felspar, a 'Hotus on 
the crocodiles', and two tambourines found in Akhmim. In the lower 
part of the cabinet are two slabs of serpentine (No. 6106), found 
at Coptos in 1883, which contain fragments of a long inscription 
recording a series of works carried out by Roman soldiers under 
Augustus. The rest of the inscription has not been discovered. 

Opposite is a cabinet containing terracotta figures , a figure of 
Anubis in blue glazed earth, and ivory plaques for caskets with 
reliefs. Below is a collection of weights in stone and bronze. This 
cabinet also contains a pair of scales. 

The Salle Historique de l'Est contains several hundred steles 
or tombstones, chiefly found at Abydos, Sakkara, and Thebes, but 
a few also at Tell el-Amarna. — In the middle of the room (No. 872) 
is the celebrated Tablet of Sakkara. 

This tablet was found in 186i in a half-ruined mortuary chapel at 
Sakkara. On one side is inscribed a hymn to Osiris and on the other a 
list of 58 kings, in two rows, beginning with Meribah (1st dyn ) and end- 
ing with Kamses II. The list is unfortunately very imperfect. 

870, 871. Two blocks of close-grained sandstone, intended for 
votive offerings; on the upper margin of the lateral faces is an in- 
scription mentioning the name of Ameni Antef Amenemha, an un- 
known king of the 13th or 14th dynasty (Karnak). — 497. Stele 
of the period of Khu-en-aten (18th dyn.). 488. Serpent in black 
granite, with the cartouches of King Amenhotep III., who erected 
it as a guardian of the temple at Athribis (the modern Benha). — 
*492, 493. Two basreliefs found in old Memphis and showing some 
of the most delicate workmanship of the Saite period. The one re- 
presents the scribe Psamtik-nefer-sa-mer superintending the trans- 
portation of gold ornaments intended for his tomb ; the other shows 
him receiving votive offerings. 

E. Wall. In the corner to the Tight, 600. Granite statue of 
Thothmes III. (18th dyn.). *610. Fine head in black granite with 
mild and regular features, held by Mariette to be the Pharaoh of 
the Exodus (Merenptah), but according to Maspero the Pharaoh 
Horemheb ; *617. Head of hard limestone found in the temple of 
Karnak; other fragments found almost exactly in the same spot 
make it probable that this is the head of the wife or daughter of 
King Horemheb. — To the left, 642. Bust of Amenophis II f 18th 
dyn.); *640. Head of a king (18-20th dyn.). ' L 

N. Wall. In the centre, 721. Large granite statue of the Roman 
period , found at Tanis. In a niche to the right, *3963. Figure 

OLDOAIRO. 4. Route. 317 

of Thueris in green serpentine , in the form of a hippopotamus 
(Thebes); this goddess was the guardian of departed souls and her 
forbidding appearance was supposed to drive away evil spirits. The 
figure is well preserved and its technical execution is admirable. 

S. Wall. In the centre, 561. Limestone statue of Amenhotep III., 
with inlaid eyes. To the left, by the adjacent window, is a dum- 
palm found in a tomb at Thebes in 1884, with a head of Hathor and 
a hieroglyphical inscription. In front, Naos covered with inscriptions 
and representations relating to Thot, including a dog-faced ape 
(p. 134). — Large stele, covered on both sides with inscriptions 
and bearing the cartouches of King Usertesen (12th dyn.). 

The Museum of Bulak also possesses a large collection of Papyri, 
including a number of valuable scrolls found at Der el-Bahri. Un- 
fortunately there is at present little space for their exhibition, so that 
most of them, as well as numerous other monuments, have for the 
present at least to be kept in the store-rooms. 

4. Environs of Cairo. 

Old Cairo, Gezireh, Shubra, Heliopolis, and the Pyramids of Gizeh 
are most conveniently visited by carriage, and the Mokattam hills, Moses' 
Well, the Petrified Forest, and Gebel el-Ahmar on donkey-back. The 
first-named excursions may also of course be made on the back of a don- 
key, but this mode of travelling is more fatiguing. 

Old Cairo (Masr el-'Atika). 
Fumm el-Khalig. Old Water Conduit. Christian Cemeteries. Island 
of Roda. Castle of Babylon. Coptic Church of St. Mary. Garni' 
'Amr. Tombs of the Mamelukes. Hosh el-Basha. 
Traversing the new town of Isma r iliya (p. 259) towards the 
S.W., we proceed by the Boulevard 'Abdul 'Aziz, the Rond-Point 
Bab el-LUk, and the Square of that name (beautifully planted with 
flowers of the Turkish national colours), to an open space, from 
which a road to the 8. leads to the Nile Bridge (p. 328). Here we 
turn to the left and follow the Boulevard Kasr 'Ali. On the left, 
at the corner, we observe the Palace of Husen Pasha (brother of 
the Khedive), surrounded by lofty walls. Opposite, to the right, 
are the new Palais Ismdiliyeh (PI. 81 ; E, 6) and the large palace 
Kasr ed-Dubara (PI. 83), both belonging to the Khedive. To the 
left, surrounded with pleasure-grounds, is the Ministry of Public 
Works (formerly the Military School; PI. 31); the Mosque to the 
right contains the Institut Egyptien, that to the left the Viceregal 
Laboratory (p. 244). Farther on, to the right, is the Palais Ibrahim 
Pasha (PI. 80 ; F, 5), with a large garden ; then the spacious 
Kasr 'Ali (PI. 82; F, 6), the palace of the Khedive's grand- 
mother. We next reach the Kasr el-'Ain (PI. 28; G,6), or large 
hospital (p. 234), with the Mosque Kasr el-'Ain (PI. 49), where 
the howling dervishes perform their zikr (p. 239). About 2'/2 M. 
from the W. end of the Muski we observe on the right and left large 
straw magazines (tibn), and opposite to us the — 

318 Route 4. ISLAND OF RODA. Environs 

Fumm el-Khalig, or influx of the city canal into an arm of the 
Nile, which, however, is dry from May until the period of the over- 
flow. The festivities connected with the cutting of the Nile em- 
bankment take place here in August. The straw-market is hounded 
on the S. by the Old Aqueduct of the Citadel, which has been dis- 
used since the completion of the steam-pump in 1872. 

The Head of this conduit, separated by a street from the arm of the 
Nile just named, is constructed of solid masonry in a hexagonal form, 
and consists of three stories, about 150 ft. in diameter. The ground-floor 
contains stables and magazines, and on the first and second is accommo- 
dation for about 130 soldiers. On the terrace, where there are six water- 
wheels (sakiyehs), each worked by two oxen, is a large hexagonal basin 
from which the water flowed into the aqueduct. On the platform there are 
also stables for the oxen and chambers for the attendants. The aqueduct, 
constructed of massive blocks of stone, and resting on pointed arches, as- 
cends in four different levels to the citadel, the total height being 278 ft., 
and the total length 4000 yds. (2>/ 4 M.). When the Nile was at its lowest, 
the water had to be raised to a height of 80 ft. to the first basin. A 
branch of this conduit supplied the Jewish quarter with water in the 
neighbourhood of Imam Shafe'i (p. 327). The aqueduct dates from the 
time of Saladin (12th cent. ; p. 262). The entrance is in the N. wall, at the 
back of the head of the aqueduct, where a Berber is posted as a custodian 
(fee '/■! fr. for each person). "Views from the openings of the platform, 
very fine. Easy ascent by an inclined plane. 

Towards the left, a few hundred yards from the gate of the head 
of the aqueduct are situated the Christian Cemeteries , surrounded 
by lofty walls. The first is the English Cemetery, the second the 
Roman Catholic, beyond which are those of the Greeks, Armenians, 
and Copts, which present no attraction. 

Leaving the head of the aqueduct, we follow the direction of 
the arm of the Nile, which, however, is not always visible, as the 
houses and walls of the Manjal quarter interpose between the 
road and the water, and reach (IY4 M.) the mansion which form- 
erly belonged to Suleman Pasha el-Fransawi (Colonel Selves), with 
two fine Arabian portals (visitors not admitted). The second nar- 
row and short road to the right beyond the chateau leads to the 
ferry crossing to the Island of Roda. We descend the slope , enter 
the ferry-boat (!/ 4 fr. for one person, there and back ; for a party 
more in proportion ; payment made on returning), ascend the op- 
posite path , and turn to the right. A young gardener is usually 
in waiting at the landing-place to conduct travellers through the 
intricate lanes to the garden. At the S. extremity of the island 
is the Nilometer (Mikyas), situated on land belonging to the heirs 
of Hasan Pasha. The garden, laid out in the Arabian style, is mi- 
serably neglected. The paths are paved with a kind of mosaic of 
round pebbles, obtained partly from the desert, and partly from 
the island of Rhodes , and the most important of them are bor- 
dered with low walls, supporting wooden verandahs and arbours, 
over which climb immense vines. The gardens contain orange 
and lemon trees, dates, palms, and bananas,' and also the henna 
plant, which is not met with in the public gardens of Cairo. 

of Cairo. ISLAND OF R6p A. 4. Route. 319 

The Nilometer (Mikyas), a square well, 16 ft. in diameter, con- 
nected by a channel with the Nile , has in the centre an octagonal 
column, on which are inscribed the ancient Arabian measures and 
Cuflc inscriptions. The four straight sides are constructed of 
massive masonry , and contain niches adorned with columns with 
Byzantine capitals. Marble slabs built into the walls bear Cuflc 
inscriptions. The dra', or old Arabian ell , is 54 centimetres, or 
about 21 '/3 inches, and is divided into 24 kirat. The column of 
the Nilometer, which has been frequently repaired , is 17 ells in 
height , the first of which is built into the foundations. The up- 
per part is secured by means of a beam attached to the opposite 
walls. The zero point of the Nilometer (according to Mah- 
mud-Bey) is 28 ft. above the average level of the Mediterranean, 
so that the top of the column is nearly 59 ft. above sea-level. The 
water of the Nile, when at its lowest, covers 7 ells of the Nilometer, 
and when it reaches a height of 15 ells and 16 kirat, the shekh of 
the Nile measurement proclaims the Wefa (p. 239), i.e. the height 
of the water necessary for irrigating every part of the Nile valley. 
The announcement of the wefa is the signal for cutting the em- 
bankment. The shekh, however, has his private meter, the zero of 
which is nearly 7 inches lower than that of the old Nilometer t. 

The mean difference between the low and high level of the 
Nile at Cairo is 24 1 /2 feet. "When , according to the shekh's mode 
of reckoning, the height of 23 ells is attained, the island of Roda 
is overflowed. 

The Mikyas or Nilometer was constructed in the year 97 of the 
Hegira (A.D. 716) by order of the Omayyad Khalif Suleman (715-17). 
JIamun , the 'Abbaside Khalif (A.D. 809-33), added the Cuflc inscriptions 
on the N. and W. walls and repaired the whole structure in 814. Accord- 
ing to the Cufie inscriptions on the S. and E. sides, another restoration 
took place in the year 233 of the Hegira. Khalif Mutawakkil (847-61) 
also repaired the Mikyas in 247 of the Hegira (A.D. 859), and transferred 
the office of measuring the water from the Copts, who had hitherto held 

+ The rate of taxation was determined in ancient times in accordance 
with the height of the inundation. All the authorities from Herodotus 
down to Leo Africanus agree in stating that the Nile must rise 16 cubits, 
or Egyptian ells , in order that the land may produce good crops. The 
famous statue. of Father Nile in the Vatican is accordingly surrounded 
by sixteen figures of genii, representing these 16 ells. To this day the 
height of the overflow influences taxation , and the land which is artifi- 
cially irrigated pays less than that reached by the river itself. The 
object of the government always is to induce a belief that the inun- 
dation is favourable , and the sworn sh§kh of the Nilometer is therefore 
subject to the influence of the police at Cairo. 'The same political 
motives, from which in ancient times the custody of the Nilometers 
was entrusted to the priests alone, still prevent the Egyptian public 
from obtaining access to the Mikyas in the island of Koda. The real 
height of the water is always concealed , and false statements made , as 
it is the object of the fiscal authorities to levy, if possible, the full 
rate of taxation every year, whatever the height of the Nile may have 
been. This traditional dishonesty in the use of the Nilometer was first 
discovered by the French engineers during the occupation of Egypt by 
Napoleon'. (C. Ritter.) 

320 Route 4. OLD CAIRO. Environs 

it, to the Muslim family of Abu Kadab. In 485 of the Hegira (A.D. 1092) 
the Fatimite Khalif Mustansir Billah (1036-94) caused the Nilometer to be 
covered with a dome, resting on columns, but that structure was destroyed 
during the siege of this part of the island by the French under Napoleon. 
A roof in Turkish taste, resting on wooden columns, now covers the well. 

Adjoining the Nilometer is a large Kiosque in the Turkish style, 
which may be inspected when not occupied by any harem. The 
architecture is uninteresting, but the handsome dimensions of the 
rooms , which are intended for a summer residence, and the bath 
are worthy of notice. The S. verandah of the kiosque affords an 
uninterrupted *View of the Nile, with Gizeh to the right, the pyra- 
mids in the background, and Old Cairo on the left (fee 1 fr.). 

Near the N. end of the island stands the wonder-working tree of the 
saint Mand&ra, a huge nebk tree, the branches of which are hung with 
innumerable rags. According to a popular superstition the patient must 
thus offer to the saint the cloth which enveloped the affected limb, then 
encircle the tree seven times, pluck off two leaves, and tie them on the 
affected part with another cloth. 

Leaving the island and returning to the opposite bank, we re- 
gain the Old Cairo Toad, and after '/4 M. more we reach the end of 
the bazaar of this small town. We then turn to the left, and in 
a few minutes reach a street running from N. to S. Turning to 
the N. (left), we observe on the right a distinct quarter of the town, 
built on the ruins of Fostat (p. 241) within the precincts of an 
ancient Roman Castle, formerly called Babylon. The plan of the 
fortress is still traceable by means of the numerous characteristic 
remains of the Roman outer wall. On the S. side , between two 
projecting towers, is a gateway with a gabled roof, now almost 
entirely ruined. The castle is said once to have been occupied by 
one of the three Roman legions stationed in Egypt (p. 241), and 
to have been connected by a bridge with Roda and with Gizeh, 
where another Roman station is said to have been situated. Proceed- 
ing in a straight direction for about 100 yds., and then about 
35 paces to the right of a low doorway situated in a hollow on the 
W. side and concealed by a small wall, we reach the middle of the 
Coptic quarter , where , enclosed by a dense mass of houses , is 
situated the much frequented ■ — 

*Abu Sergeh, or Coptic Church of St. Mary. (A Coptic boy may 
be engaged as a guide to the church; fee 1 piastre.) According to 
a wide-spread belief this church was built before the Mohammedan 
conquest, and a legendary document preserved by the Coptic priests 
places the date of its erection in the year 329 of the Hegira, i.e. 
940 A.D. A glance at the poor materials of the building, however, 
with its wooden ceiling and heterogeneous columns, will at once 
show the absurdity of this idea. The crypt, however, is undoubtedly 
much older than the church and may very well date from a pre- 
Mohammedan epoch. Abu Sergeh is probably equivalent to St. Ser- 
gius. According to tradition, the Virgin and Child after their flight 
to Egypt spent a month in the crypt of this church. One of the Cop- 
tic priests (who expects a fee of 1 piastre tariff from each visitor) 

of Cairo. 


4. Route. 321 

shows some interesting Byzantine carving and mosaics in ivory, now 
blackened and discoloured with age. Many valuable art relics have 
been removed from the church since 1860. A number of old pictures 
of saints which still remain, some of them on a gold ground and with 
well preserved colours, possess no artistic value. Above a door to 
the right of the high-altar, engraved in wood, is the Coptic inscrip- 
tion, 'Greetings to the Temple of the Father I' Below it is a mod- 
ern Arabic inscription with the date 1195. — This church may be 
regarded as the original model of all the older Egyptian-Byzantine 
churches in which the Coptic Christians now worship + . 

The basilica consists of a nave and aisles. The tribuna, the two side 
chapels , the sanctuary, and the parts corresponding to the senatorium 
and matroneum of northern basilicas are raised a few steps above the 
level of the nave and aisles , and are almost all as high as the nave, 
while the aisles are pro- 
vided with galleries. 
The nave and tribuna 
have open roofs, that of 
the latter being sup- 
ported by elliptical 
beams, and both being 
probably of later date 
than the church itself. 
The left side-chapel is 
surmounted by an Ara- 
bian dome, while the 
aisles have flat ceil- 
ings. The lofty side- 
walls of the nave con- 
sist of two rows of 
columns, one above the 
other, the columns of 
the lower row being se- 
parated by keel-shaped 
arches, while the upper 
series , supporting the 
gallery , consists of 
groups of two columns 
and one pillar alter- 
nately , connected by 
an architrave. The 
columns of Carrara 
marble originally be- 
longed to ancient edi- 
fices, and, like those in 
the earlier mosques, 
have been placed here 
without the least re- 
gard to their suitabili- 
ty in point of dia- 
meter, form of capital, 
or other architectural 
features. Two of the 
three original entran- 
ces are now built up, 
while the third, in ac- 
cordance with the custom of the country, has walls projecting into it in 
order to prevent passers-by from seeing into the fore-court. The sacristy, 

+ Coptic Worship. On entering the church, the members of the con- 
Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 01 

a. Entrance from the street, b. Anterior Court, 
c. Entrance to the Church, d. Vestibule, e. Wo- 
men's section, f. Men's section, g. Well. h. Seat 
for the chief priest, i. Wooden screen, k. Wooden 
screen adorned with carving. 1. Steps to the 
crypt, m. Altar, n. Presbyterium. o. Reading- 
desks, p. Side-chapels, q. r. Wells, s. Sacristy, 
t. Magazines. 

322 Route 4. OLD CAIRO. Environs 

now a dark and dirty chamber without a door, contains relics of Coptic 
paintings on the right wall. 

The nave is divided by wooden screens into three sections. The 
first forms a fore-court, or vestibule, the second is set apart for the 

gregation first pay their homage to a number of pictures of saints hanging 
on the walls (the veneration of saints and of the Virgin being a prominent 
feature of the Coptic system), and then kneel before the altar and kiss 
the hand of the priest. They then take their stand (for there are no seats) 
in the part of the church allotted to them , leaning on crutches which 
they bring for the purpose, as the service often lasts for three hours. 
The service begins with the reading or chanting of prayers and passages 
from the Gospels, partly in the Coptic language, and partly in Arabic, 
in which the priest is assisted by a schoolmaster and a choir of boys. 
During this performance the worshippers, with very few exceptions, 
engage freely in conversation, and the noise is said to be sometimes so 
great that the priest has to come out of the hekel, or sanctuary, and 
enjoin silence. After a time the burning of incense begins. The priest, 
swinging his censer, leaves the hekel and joins the congregation, each 
member of which he blesses , placing his hand on their heads. He con- 
cludes this ceremony in the women's section of the church , and the 
ordinary service now terminates. 

The Celebration of the Eucharist is very frequent in the Coptic churches, 
immediately following the ordinary service. The celebrant priest wears 
a white and gaily embroidered gown reaching to his feet, and bearing 
the Coptic cross on the breast and sleeves. After washing his hands, he 
directs a boy to bring him several small round loaves with the Coptic 
cross impressed on them. He chooses the best of them, places it on a 
plate , and pronounces over it the blessing of the triune God. He then 
carries it into the hekel, places it on the altar, covers it with white 
cloths, and makes the circuit of the altar several times, reciting prayers, 
and accompanied by the choristers carrying lighted candles. He next 
brings the plate with the bread out of the hekel and holds it up before 
the people, whereupon the whole congregation kneels. Returning to the 
hekel, he breaks the bread into small pieces, puts it into a chalice, pours 
wine over it, and eats it with a spoon, distributing a few pieces to the 
assistant clergy and the choristers. Lest any fragment of the consecrated 
elements should be profaned, he finally washes all the utensils and his 
own hands, and drinks the water in which he has washed them. Mean- 
while a number of small round loaves, prepared in an adjoining apartment, 
are distributed among the congregation, each member receiving and eating 
one or more. The laity partake more rarely of the wine, and only after 
having previously confessed. In this case the communicants approach 
the door of the hekel, where the priest administers to them with a spoon 
a piece of the bread dipped in wine. 

A curious ceremony takes place in the Coptic churches on Palm 
Sunday ('id esh-sha'dnin). After the usual service and the communion 
which follows it, several basins of water are placed in the space before 
the hekel. The priest in his white surplice takes his stand in front of 
them , turning his face towards the hekel , while another priest in his 
ordinary dress reads the Gospel in Arabic , after which the former con- 
secrates the water by pronouncing a prayer over it. The moment this 
ceremony is concluded , the surrounding congregation rushes up to the 
basins in order to dip palm-wreaths into them ; and the crowd is often 
so unruly that the priest is obliged to restore order with the aid of his 
stick. These wreaths are then worn by the Copts under their tarbiishes 
during the whole of the following year as amulets against the evil eye, 
the sting of scorpions, and every other misfortune that can befall body 
or soul. 

On 18th-19th January, the anniversary of the Baptism of Christ ('id 
el-ghitds), men and boys plunge into the large font or bath which is to 
be found in most Coptic churches, the water having been first blessed by 

of Cairo. OLD CAIRO. 4. Route. 323 

women , and the third for the men. Within the vestibule (first 
section of the nave), as in most of the ancient Christian churches, 
is a trough in the pavement for washing the feet and other 
ablutions. Beyond the three sections of the nave, and raised by 
a few steps, is the choir where the priests of ficiate ; and, lastly, we 
observe the Hekel, or sanctuary, containing the altar, and enclosed 
by a wall, doors, and curtains. Inside the apse rise several steps 
of masonry, in amphitheatrical fashion, towards the place which in 
European churches is occupied by the episcopal throne , and in 
Oriental by sacred images. The wall separating the sanctuary from 
the choir is panelled and richly adorned with carvings in wood and 
ivory. The oldest of these, probably coeval with the church, 
represent the Nativity , the Eucharist , and the patron saint of the 
church , and are surrounded with ornamentation in wood , consist- 
ing of rectilineal patterns, the basis of which is generally the 
Coptic cross (►§«). Another favourite device, which is often seen 
at Jerusalem, and with which the Copts frequently tattoo their arms, 
consists of the same cross, with four smaller crosses in the angles. 
A narrow flight of twelve steps descends to the Crypt, a small 
vaulted chapel, consisting of nave and aisles. At the end of the 
nave is an altar in the form of an early Christian tomb-niche, which 
tradition indicates as the spot where the Virgin and Child reposed ; 
in the centre of the aisles are apses. The right aisle contains the 
font, into which, according to the Coptic ritual, the child to be 
baptised is dipped three times. 

The Coptic quarter of Old Cairo contains several other basilicas, used 
by Coptic, Greek, and Jewish congregations, but interesting only to those 
who are making a special study of this kind of architecture. Among 
them we may mention the second Seiyideh Maryam, or Greek Church of 
St. Mary, on an elevated site in the castle of Babylon, and sometimes called 
El-Mo'allaka, or 'the hanging', containing ivory carving and stained glass 
windows. The church of Mdri Menu contains a handsome candelabrum. 
That of AbH Sefen has a pulpit in coloured marble , inlaid with mother- 
of-pearl, and a jug and basin with old Arabian enamel work. The Syna- 
gogue (Esh-Shamydn, or Keniset Eliydhu) was formerly a church of St. 
Michael. The Jews say that Elijah once appeared here, and the synagogue 
boasts of possessing a scroll of the Thorah written by the hand of Ezra. The 
scrolls shown, however, are all quite modern. Benjamin of Tudela men- 
tions a synagogue at Old Cairo where Moses is said to have prayed for 

the priest. Or, partly by way of amusement, they perform the same 
ceremony in the Nile, into which they first pour some consecrated water. 
On these occasions the river in Coptic districts swarms with boats. On 
the eve of this festival, as well as on Holy Thursday and on the festival 
of the Apostles, the priest washes the feet of the whole of his congregation. 
It is impossible to resist the impression that the Coptic worship has 
degenerated into a series of mere empty outward ceremonies, and indeed 
the more enlightened members of the sect admit this to be the case. 
Another external form to which they attach great weight is the observance 
of fasts, and a Copt who is negligent in this respect will rarely be met 
with. On these occasions all kinds of animal food, not excepting fat, 
eggs, butter, and cheese, are prohibited , and the usual fare consists of